Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc has revealed the cabin interior of its first SpaceshipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity in a virtual event streamed live on YouTube.
Aspiring astronauts and space enthusiasts have the opportunity to explore the Virgin Galactic cabin design and spaceflight experience through an augmented reality enabled mobile app available to download for free at both the App Store and Play Store.
Virgin Galactic, in collaboration with London design agency, Seymourpowell has developed the experience-focused concept for the cabin of its spaceship. The cabin is the design centrepiece, designed to integrate with other aspects of the Virgin Galactic astronaut journey and is also the design centrepiece; providing safety without distraction and offering each astronaut a level of intimacy required for personal discovery.
The cabin includes individually sized seats, created using the high-grade aluminium and carbon-fibre manufacturing techniques. Astronaut comfort is optimised through the use of engineered foam and technical fabrics with cabin seat fabric and astronaut spacesuits developed by Under Armour.
Seats engineered to match dynamism of flight
Each seat has been engineered to match the dynamism of the flight. A pilot-controlled recline mechanism, optimally positions astronauts to manage G- forces on boost and re-entry and frees up cabin space to maximize an unrestricted astronaut float zone when in zero gravity.
Multi-color LEDs are concealed within the “Halo” window surrounds and are used to reflect back human responses to each of the contrasting stages of flight. As the Earth comes into view against the black sky of space, all lighting is extinguished.
Seatback screens provide digital flight data to connect each astronaut to the flight deck. Integrated communication systems complement the screens with a direct connection for each astronaut to the two space pilots.
Design allows for weightlessness
SpaceShipTwo’s cabin has been deliberately sized to allow for an out-of-seat weightlessness experience for the astronauts on board. The interior includes soft cabin surfaces and elements including hand and footholds which allow astronauts to explore the cabin freely and fully. Twelve large windows allow astronauts to position themselves for 360 degrees of awe-inspiring views.
Output from 16 cabin cameras, plus those in the cockpit and mounted externally, will generate high definition output to provide everything from the first Instagram posts, to an edited and historically significant personal movie.
Cabin is design centrepiece
Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said: “In just my second week as Virgin Galactic’s CEO, it is with great pride that I can lead our talented teams in revealing this latest milestone in our journey to space. The spaceship cabin interior is in many ways the design centrepiece of the astronaut journey and what has been created will both facilitate and elevate a uniquely profound and transformational journey for the thousands who will fly.”
“The fascination with spaceflight is universal and Virgin Galactic is here to satisfy it. We are particularly proud to be able to share this latest milestone with millions around the world, particularly during these unusual times. We hope the new app, with cutting-edge AR technology will help bring the dream of space one step closer for space enthusiasts everywhere.”
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson added: ‘’When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built the spaceship around it. We will continue with that ethos as we expand our fleet, build our operations and underpin Virgin Galactic’s position as the Spaceline for Earth. This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely – and that is incredibly exciting.’’