In a significant milestone for space tourism, Virgin Galactic has successfully completed what is expected to be its final test flight before launching paying customers into space. This achievement marks a “fantastic achievement” for the company, which has faced numerous setbacks, disasters, and delays in developing its spaceflight system.

The test flight, carried out on Thursday, saw the company’s spacecraft, VSS Unity, reach the edge of space before safely returning to Earth. The successful completion of this test flight is a crucial step in Virgin Galactic’s plans to begin commercial service, offering brief trips to space for paying customers.

Virgin Galactic’s journey to this point has been fraught with challenges. The company has faced numerous technical issues and setbacks, including a fatal crash during a test flight in 2014. However, the successful completion of this final test flight signals that the company has overcome these hurdles and is now on the brink of launching its commercial service.

The company’s spacecraft, VSS Unity, is designed to carry six passengers and two pilots. The spacecraft is launched from a carrier aircraft before igniting its rocket motor to climb to the edge of space. Passengers will experience a few minutes of weightlessness and stunning views of Earth before the spacecraft glides back to land on a runway.

The successful completion of this test flight is a significant achievement for Virgin Galactic and a major step forward for space tourism. The company is now poised to become one of the first to offer commercial spaceflights, opening up a new frontier for tourism and paving the way for a future where space travel is accessible to more than just professional astronauts.

As the company prepares to launch its commercial service, the eyes of the world will be on Virgin Galactic. The success of its operations could have significant implications for the future of space travel and could inspire a new generation of space explorers.