Climb aboard the world's first spaceliner

If all goes according to plan, Virgin Galactic could be the first to blast ordinary humans to space and return them safely to Earth. How the SpaceShipTwo would send people to space:

The 90-minute trip will star two pilots and six passengers.

At 50,000 feet, the mothership, White Knight Two, drops SS2 and banks away. Four seconds later, with WK2 safely away, pilots will light the rocket aboard SS2, a solid rubber compound that is ignited by nitrous oxide.

Pushing speeds close to Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound, SS2 will take roughly 60 seconds to reach the blackness of space, which officially starts at 50 miles up.

Then, almost instantly, pure silence. The wings feather, gracefully pivoting the craft upside down, giving the new astronauts an unfettered view of the earth through 12 portholes. They can then unbuckle and float around.

After a few minutes of weightless that mark the defining moment of the trip, it’s back in the seats for the flight back to Earth.