An artistic rendering of Virgin Galactic’s proposed supersonic jet. | Image: Virgin Galactic

This morning, Richard Branson’s space tourism venture Virgin Galactic unveiled the design of its proposed supersonic jet. The company claims the final version of the vehicle could carry between nine and 19 passengers and reach Mach 3, or three times faster than the speed of sound.

Virgin Galactic’s primary focus is its space tourism business, which strives to send paying customers to the edge of space and back on the company’s spaceplane. But for years, Virgin Galactic has also signaled its interest in leveraging its space technology to develop high-speed, point-to-point travel. The concept entails using suborbital rockets to get people from one point on Earth to the other in much less time than a typical airplane.

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