Regarding sub-orbital spaceflights with Virgin Galactic,

claims that:

Allegedly some travelers were asked to take a 6 to 8G centrifuge test to qualify

Is that true, and if so, what's the point?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Uninformed speculation would be that they want to weed out anybody who has health problems with high G-loads/being stuck in a confined space before they are having to abort a flight with paying customers, the rest of whom will want another flight. Also potentially acts as a commitment barrier- if you are prepared to subject yourself to the discomfort of the centrifuge you are probably serious about going through with the flight. Unrelated to the question but would bet the 'health/fitness guidance' 30 seconds later in the video is 'this flight has no toilet, eat accordingly'. $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2020 at 4:19
  • $\begingroup$ @GremlinWranger : How though is a "proper" spaceflight going to require endurance comparable to 6-8 gee? Why not just test with what you'd actually encounter on the flight? Safety margin? $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2020 at 11:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @The_Sympathizer the max acceleration I’ve found quoted (here, in “Your flight to space”) is 3.5 G during the rocket burn once released from the carrier aircraft. Don’t know if there are other phases of flight with higher acceleration, be it in normal or emergency circumstances. $\endgroup$
    – jcaron
    Dec 25, 2020 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @jcaron Dead link... $\endgroup$
    – Digger
    Oct 19, 2023 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


https://bis-space.com/membership/voyage/VoyageIssue8-Virgin%20Galactic.pdf confirms that:

The Virgin Galactic spaceship is designed to fly almost anyone to space without the need for long term training. Passengers will have three days of extensive pre-flight training. This may include flight simulation or centrifuge training to prepare for the g-forces.

On the same PDF, it is mentioned that the reentry is 6g.

enter image description here

Note that according to https://www.topgear.com/car-news/big-reads/behind-scenes-virgin-galactic:

The trajectory is very vertical, the burn is about a minute and you pull about 3.5–4g.


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