Centuries ago, people looked up at the moon and stars with vast curiosity and a faint idea of the unimaginable scope of the Universe around them. In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel to space, at the time an enormous feat in the development of science for mankind. In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, declaring the famous line “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
Now in 2021, after many years of vision, planning and dreaming Virgin Galantic, led by Billionaire Richard Branson and five other crew members, have successfully sent the very first fully crewed flight into space. In describing his experience in Space, Branson has written that “How you feel when you look down on Earth is impossible to put into words, it’s just indescribable beauty. I can’t wait for you all to get up there”.
An extraordinary achievement, Virgin Galantic’s expedition into space serves as a starting point for what Branson hopes will one day result in accessible, commercial Space travel for all people. “My mission statement, which I wrote inside my spacesuit, is to turn the dream of space travel into a reality – for my grandchildren, for your grandchildren, for everyone,” Branson said in a tweet.
In a society where many of us are currently unable to travel interstate or internationally as a result of the pandemic, it is rather unfathomable to imagine having the opportunity and possibility of commercial Space travel at our fingertips. However, with the announcement of Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with Omaze to open up accessible space travel, it may in fact be an option for people in the not-too-distant future. Whilst widespread commercial travel to space is still a while away, who knows, we may be writing articles for future generations about the ‘5 must visit’ holiday locations beyond earth.
By Trent Walsh