Virgin Galactic Reveals Passenger Cabin Design for SpaceShip Two Unity
Earlier this week, Virgin Galactic revealed the passenger cabin design for SpaceShip Two ‘Unity’ in a live-stream event. The cabin features individually sized, reclining seats for G-force management and 12 large cabin windows.
In a live-stream event on Tuesday (July 28, 2020) Virgin Galactic revealed virtually the elegant and bespoke passenger design for their SpaceShip Two Unity vehicle. The spacious cabin features individually-sized reclining seats for G-force management and float zone volume, automated mood lighting synchronized with each phase of flight, personal seatback screens displaying live flight data and a cabin architecture that facilitates effortless movement in the zero gravity environment. Additionally, the cabin is equipped with 16 cameras which provide footage and stills and 12 large windows for astronauts to gaze at Earth from. Another unique feature is a large mirror which reflects the real-time astronaut experience. An augmented reality cabin design and spaceflight experience app is now available for download free of charge. Commenting on the cabin reveal, Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier 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 centerpiece 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.”
Also commenting on the cabin design rollout, Virgin Galactic’s founder, Sir Richard Branson added,
“When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built a 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.”
In collaboration with London design agency, Seymourpowell, Virgin Galactic developed an elegant experience-focused cabin design which integrates seamlessly with the entire astronaut journey. As the design centerpiece of the experience, the cabin provides safety without distraction while quietly absorbing periods of sensory intensity. The design will provide each astronaut a level of intimacy required for personal discovery and transformation. The textures, colors and structures are designed to inspire a sense of confidence in astronauts from the moment they board.
The individually sized seats utilize the highest-grade aluminum and carbon-fiber manufacturing techniques and are covered in a 3D knit fabric designed by Under Armour, who also designed the astronaut spacesuits. The seats have been designed to match the dynamism of the flight and are reclined by a pilot-controlled mechanism to optimally position astronauts to manage G-forces on boost and re-entry as well as maximize cabin space for astronauts in zero gravity. The cabin’s multi-color LED mood lighting elements are concealed within the “Halo” window surrounds, providing an elevating experience during each phase of flight. As the Earth comes into view against the blackness of space, the lighting is extinguished to provide an instant focus on the profoundly beautiful space-scape vista. The seatback screens connect each astronaut to the flight deck with digital flight data as well as a personalized communication system between the astronauts and the two pilots.
SpaceShip Two’s cabin was specifically sized to provide the optimal out-of-seat weightlessness experience for the astronauts. The cabin has been outfitted with soft cabin surfaces and design elements which become intuitive hand an footholds, allowing astronauts to fully and freely navigate the cabin environment. The soft edges of the “Halo” surrounding the twelve large windows double as hand holds, allowing the astronauts to position themselves for 360 degrees of awe inspiring views.
Virgin Galactic’s current community of 600 Future Astronauts will have a record of their journey as the cabin is equipped with 16 cameras, plus those mounted in the cockpit and outside the cabin. The cameras will provide high definition output that they astronauts can use for their first social media posts to a beautifully edited and historically significant personal movie. The unique large circular mirror mounted on the aft bulkhead will allow astronauts to view themselves while weightless and illuminated by the natural brightness of the Earth, providing an unforgettable memory. Aspiring astronauts can join the Spacefarer community for a $1,000 refundable deposit which will put them at the front of the line for new spaceflight reservations.
Source: Virgin Galactic