[Virgin Hyperloop One in Digital Trends] Sara Luchian on being the first Virgin Hyperloop passenger

From the Digital Trends CES Experience center, Ariana Escalante and Andre Stone continue our coverage of CES 2021 with Sara Luchian, head of passenger experience with Virgin Hyperloop.

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Virgin Orbit targets launch window opening January 10 for next orbital flight attempt

Virgin Orbit is wasting no time in 2021 getting back to active flight testing: The company has a window for its next orbital demonstration launch attempt that opens on Sunday, January 10, and that continues throughout the rest of the month. This follows an attempt last year made in May, which ended before the LauncherOne rocket reached orbit — shortly after it detached from the Cosmic Girl carrier aircraft, in fact.

While that mission didn’t go exactly as Virgin Orbit had hoped, it was a significant milestone for the small satellite launch company, and helped gather a significant amount of data about how the vehicle performs in flight. LauncherOne was able to briefly light its rocket booster before safety systems on board automatically shut it down. The company had been looking to fly this second test before the end of last year, but issues including COVID-19 meant that they only got as far as the wet dress rehearsal (essentially a run-through of everything leading up to the flight with the vehicles fully fueled).

This next mission will once again attempt an orbital launch, and this time, the stakes are somewhat higher because actual customer payloads from NASA are on board. They include a number of small satellite science experiments and demonstrations, and while they’re specifically selected for the mission profile (meaning it’s not a tremendous loss if the launch fails), it still would make everyone happiest to actually get them to their target destination.

The nature of the launch window means that Virgin Orbit will likely wait for conditions to be as good as possible before taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, so take that January 10 date as the earliest possible launch time, but not necessarily the most likely. If successful, Virgin Orbit will join a select group of private small launch vehicles that have made it to orbit, so the industry will definitely be watching the next time Cosmic Girl takes off with LauncherOne attached.

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[Virgin Hyperloop One in Fortune] Hyperloop wants to connect people to opportunity, but city leaders are asking who benefits the most

Over half of the world’s population now live in urban centers, and that percentage is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade. In order to accommodate this massive influx, cities will have to expand and upgrade existing infrastructure. But as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on state and local budgets, those preparations have largely been placed on the back burner. That’s where Josh Giegel, cofounder and chief technology officer at Virgin Hyperloop, said the company can step in.

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[Virgin Hyperloop One in Popular Mechanics] Humans Have Taken Their First Trip Inside a Hyperloop

One small trip for humans, one giant leap for Virgin Hyperloop. In a historic first, two passengers embarked on a high-speed hyperloop train on Sunday evening at the Virgin Hyperloop’s 1,640-foot DevLoop test track in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clearly, Virgin Hyperloop was confident in the trial, because the two passengers onboard were Josh Giegel, its chief technology officer and cofounder, and Sara Luchian, the company’s head of passenger experience.

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[Virgin Hyperloop One in Mashable] These are the first human passengers to try hyperloop travel

Virgin Hyperloop executives Josh Giegel and Sara Luchian traveled inside the Hyperloop test tube in what is the company’s first ever human trial. The pod reached speeds of up to 172 km/h during the trip that lasted just 15 seconds.

Read more on Mashable here.

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[Virgin Hyperloop One in THE VERGE] VIRGIN HYPERLOOP HITS AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE: THE FIRST HUMAN PASSENGER TEST

For the first time, two people rode a hyperloop pod through a nearly airless tube at 100 mph.

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[Virgin Hyperloop One in New York Times] A Step Forward in the Promise of Ultrafast ‘Hyperloops’

Hyperloop technology, which promises to transport people and goods at speeds of up to 600 miles an hour, has long seemed too good to be true. But one company says it has cleared an important step toward commercializing it by moving two of its employees through a test system.

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[Virgin Hyperloop in CNBC-TV18] Hyperloop in Mumbai-Pune, Bengaluru may be ready by 2029, says Virgin Hyperloop One

The Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop and the hyperloop corridor from Bengaluru city to the Kempegowda International Airport could be ready by 2029 based on approvals, a spokesperson of American technology transport company Virgin Hyperloop One informed CNBC TV 18..

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[Virgin Hyperloop in Dezeen] BIG designs Virgin Hyperloop Certification Center for West Virginia

Virgin Hyperloop is building a centre for testing and certifying its high-speed transportation system in West Virginia, designed by architecture firm BIG. The Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC) facility will include a six-mile-long tube for testing Virgin Hyperloop for mass transportation use. The aim is to achieve safety certification for the new mode of transport – intended to be ultra-fast, with zero direct emissions – by 2025 and for it to be in operation by 2030.

Read more here.

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