When Virgin Galactic did their demonstration flight, it was quite surprising that the space flight portion only lasted 4-5 minutes and no longer. Why so little time, and not 30 minutes or an hour?
This is because the ship establishes a suborbital arc and the top of this arc is in the dark darkness with 0 gravity only for a brief moment. The ship rises and then falls back into the atmosphere. It's not a ship like SpaceX Dragon 2 with retro rockets that can navigate space easily. Due to gravity, the speed taken is not high enough for the crew to orbit the Earth. To be able to orbit, you must reach a speed of 17,500 mph (28,163 km / h). If the suborbital arc were larger, the free fall time would be greater, the heat would also be much higher. The design of the ship would have to be completely changed for that, with a bigger engine, more fuel.
It should also be noted that the passengers of the vessel are not completely in space, because at the moment VSS Unity can only go up to 90 km altitude.
Competition through Blue Origin and its New Shepard rocket, which will offer a ticket at a similar price, reaches a higher altitude than Virgin Galactic and its VSS Unity spacecraft. With exceeding the recognized limit after which one considers to be in space, namely 100 km, but the duration is even shorter, because one is in space only for 1-2 minutes.
Article date: 07/20/2021.
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