‘Star Trek’ For $200,000

[cnnvideo url='http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2013/09/06/vo-virgin-galactic-spacecraft-launch.virgin-galactic' inline='true']

The grunting of the pilot fighting the G’s he’s pulling is sort of instructive as to what a flight on Virgin Galactic would be like but having said that, the chances of me pulling together the scratch necessary to hitch a ride are miniscule and that’s being kind. Still, I’d love to, and this is an amazing feat in civilian aeronautics/space travel.

Virgin Galactic said SpaceShipTwo broke the sound barrier, climbed from 42,000 feet to 69,000 feet over the Mojave Desert under rocket power and descended using its tilt-wing “feathering” maneuver. It’s the second powered flight for SpaceShipTwo, which is designed to carry up to six passengers on what will be suborbital flights at first.

They’re doing these tests for a reason and that reason is, you guessed it, preparation for true civilian space flight which they plan to begin in 2014. That means civilians will be flying into space aboard SpaceShipTwo sometime next year. I have to wonder how long it will be before space travel becomes a common thing. If civilian air travel is any judge then it could be as little as 20 or 30 years. That’s really no time at all.

As a side note, it’s important to remember that David Branson’s entire Virgin empire exists for exactly one reason…this album and the below song. I recommend watching both videos at the same time for, y’know, timelessness. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSNppaJ4mOc&w=584&h=390]Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Keep up with James B. on Twitter

More From Thought Catalog