Virgin Galactic reveals what tourists can expect inside its spacecraft

29 Jul 2020

The interior of the VSS Unity. Image: Virgin Galactic

Mood lighting and 360-degree views will be available inside the VSS Unity spacecraft that will take tourists into space.

Those who will be paying thousands of dollars to experience space travel – and those who can’t – have had their first glimpse of the interior of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft for tourists, dubbed VSS Unity.

The interior was designed with London agency Seymourpowell and includes individually sized seats made from aluminium and carbon fibre. A pilot-controlled recline mechanism is included to position the passenger astronauts to manage G- forces on boost and re-entry and to free up cabin space for astronauts to float freely when in zero gravity.

Multicolour LEDs are concealed within the ‘halo’ window surrounds, with lights that change at each stage of flight. However, when Earth comes into view against the blackness of space, all lighting will be switched off to allow for an uninterrupted view.

Render of the seat and halo window in the VSS Unity spacecraft.

How the seat and halo window will look on the VSS Unity. Image: Virgin Galactic

Cameras around the cabin

Virgin Galactic said that each of the 12 halo windows has soft extended edges to allow astronauts position themselves for a 360-degree view.

The cabin will also include a large, circular mirror on the aft bulkhead which, by adding a tint to the reflective surface, allows astronauts to view themselves weightless while illuminated by the brightness of the Earth. Those who want to show off on social media can record themselves or the views on 16 cabin cameras, as well as those in the cockpit and externally on the spacecraft.

The spacesuits that tourists will travel in have been designed by Under Armour. Virgin Galactic said these will offer comfort and mobility during spaceflight.

“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,” said Michael Colglazie, who recently took up the role as Virgin Galactic CEO.

“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.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic