Back in April, we talked about Virgin Galactic’s brand new SpaceShip III, the VSS Imagine. In that article, we also mentioned that they announced that they were going to do some tests of their fleet in the summer. Well, summer is here and they’re testing the invention design of the SpaceShipTwo Unity. On July 11, they completed their first fully crewed spaceflight! One of the objectives of their 20-second test flight was to evaluate the commercial customer cabin with a full crew, including the environment, comfort, the weightless experience, and the views of Earth to ensure the entire experience from beginning to end was nothing short of breathtaking.
Did you catch that?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a home inventor or a huge corporation like Virgin Group, the only way to fine-tune your product is to test, test and test!
That’s why Kevin, our President and Founder, insists on testing the invention design during the prototyping phase. As he explained in his recent contribution to Forbes, it’s “the key part of the product development process. Strategic, quality, and methodical prototyping is the primary differentiator between a high-quality, successful product and a flop.” If you missed it, you can catch the full article here as he talks about the five key stages of prototyping.
On July 11th, Virgin Galactic live-streamed the VSS Unity test on their website and a variety of other channels. The testing of their invention design took place on July 11th at approximately 8:00 am CDT / 9:00 am EDT. They launched from the company’s Spaceport America facility in New Mexico. The entire crew, including the VSS Unity and the carrier plane VSS Eve, featured four pilots and four specialists. Among the four specialists was Richard Branson himself, the Founder of the Virgin Group.
Although it was brief, the whole experience gave us a real glimpse of the future of space travel and why testing your invention design is so important. The carrier plane VMS Eve brought the VSS Unity to an altitude of approximately 9.5 miles. Once reaching this height, VSS Unity detached from the VSS Eve and achieved a speed of Mach 3. From there, the SpaceShipTwo climbed to the edge of space at an altitude of 53.5 miles. “I have dreamt about this moment since I was a child, but nothing could have prepared me for the view of Earth from space,” shared Richard Branson.
Missed the live stream of their VSS Unity testing and invention design launch? You can catch the full launch from their YouTube page.
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!