First Virgin Galactic commercial flight in June as Richard Branson looks to restore sheen
- Billionaire Richard Branson’s space-tourism venture, Virgin Galactic Holdings, has finally announced the date for its first commercial passenger mission.
Billionaire Richard Branson's space-tourism venture, Virgin Galactic Holdings, which has been bravely looking to get back on equal footing with Elon Musk led SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, has finally announced the date for the launch of the company's first commercial passenger flight. Over the last year or so, Virgin had been left trailing both SpaceX and Blue Origin due to innumerable delays that dogged its flight schedule. The company had famously flown Branson to space in July 2021, but failed to do a widely expected commercial follow-up. The flight announcement has instantly been welcomed by investors who pushed the share higher.
Called Galactic 01, the long-awaited mission will take place on June 27. The company also revealed that it will include researchers from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy. In effect, it will be a research flight.
While Virgin has announced the date, it may not fly on it and the company may be actually targetting a flight window between June 27 and June 30.
There was some good news for hundreds of space tourists, who have already bought expensive tickets to fly on Virgin's spacecraft.
Not just the first flight, the company has also revealed that it is planning to launch the second flight, Galactic 02, as soon as early August and thereafter go for a mission-a-month.
It is not certain, but instead of researchers, Galactic 02 flight may well carry tourists.
As many as 800 people have bought tickets across 66 countries, CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement.
VSS Unity has been flown into space and back 5 times so far.
The Virgin spacecraft is named VSS Unity and it will fly out of Spaceport America in New Mexico.