Virgin Galactic Achieves Milestone with First Commercial Suborbital Flight

news 29-Jun-2023 Technology

Virgin Galactic Transmits First Commercial Suborbital Flight Live on YouTube

Virgin Galactic has carried out its first commercial piloted suborbital flight, which was broadcasted live on YouTube.

Participants of the mission, named Galactic 01, included three individuals from Italy who conducted scientific experiments in microgravity, a Virgin Galactic astronaut instructor, and two pilots.

Virgin Galactic Successfully Conducts First Commercial Suborbital Flight

Using the company's unique technology, the suborbital vehicle VSS Unity was lifted into the air by the VMS Eve aircraft from the launch site in the U.S. state of New Mexico. At an altitude of approximately 15 kilometers, the vehicle separated from its carrier and ascended to an altitude of around 80 kilometers under its own propulsion. It then glided back to Earth. The entire flight lasted several hours, with the crew experiencing weightlessness for only a few minutes.

The first piloted suborbital flight of VSS Unity took place in July 2020, with the company's owner, British billionaire Richard Branson, on board.

Following the flight, Virgin Galactic proclaimed itself as the "world's first commercial spaceline" (akin to an airline), with the goal of "introducing people from all over the world to the love and awe that space travel brings." Branson's company beat Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, which is also developing suborbital space tourism, by just over a week in launching its first piloted mission.

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