The first-ever US space travel mission conducted by a private company has just ended with the successful water landing of a SpaceX space capsule in the Gulf of Mexico. But it is still unclear when the first space tourists will lift off for their journey into orbit. While the start of the adventure has been delayed several times, the preparations are still ongoing. Following the achievement of an 82.7 km altitude in 2018 by Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity and successful completion of a further flight in 2019, the cabin interior of the SpaceshipTwo – designed in cooperation with London design agency Seymourpowell – has now been presented. The cabin is to be lined with aluminium and carbon and will absorb shocks and sensory disruption while offering a high degree of security as well as the intimacy needed for such a personal voyage of discovery. The individual seats, which appear to float above the cabin’s floor, will also be made of aluminium and carbon. Large windows next to and above the seats will enable a spectacular view for each astronaut while they are catapulted into the skies and float on the universe’s border for a few minutes before returning to earth. Jeremy Brown, design director at Virgin Galactic, says that the white, grey and blue shades of the interior should convey a feeling of space travel adventure even before lift-off. That is why it is of course heavily inspired by science fiction films as well as by real spaceships from the past and their practical aesthetics. A large mirror at the back of the cabin will also ensure that guests can watch their own gymnastic displays in zero gravity, with cushioning on the windows to prevent injuries. There will be 16 cameras on the ship to document the voyage and guarantee that passengers later have enough image and video material to remember their flight and boast about their experience. However, the spaceship’s interior will not only be for tourists paying the roughly USD 250,000 per-person fare; it will also be available for research purposes. If needed, the seats’ anchors can also support shelves with research and measurement equipment, and it should be possible to attach cameras and scanners to the windows.
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