Virgin Galactic successfully completes first commercial spaceflight

Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, has successfully completed its first commercial spaceflight, named "Galactic 01," took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The Galactic 01 spaceflight carried 13 research payloads and three crew members.

According to the press release, The take-off time was 8:30am MT, the altitude at release was 44,500 feet, the apogee was 52.9 miles, the top speed was Mach 2.88 and the landing time was 9:42am MT.

Virgin Galactic will now begin post-flight inspections and analysis in preparation for its next commercial space mission, Galactic 02, which will bring its unique experience to private astronauts. The mission is scheduled for August, with Virgin Galactic planning monthly flights to space beginning thereafter.

“Today, our team successfully flew six people and more than a dozen research payloads to space in VSS Unity, our unique, suborbital science lab,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. “This historic flight was our first commercial flight and our first dedicated commercial research mission - ushering in a new era of repeatable and reliable access to space for private passengers and researchers. Galactic 02, our first spaceflight with private astronauts, is planned for August and we expect VSS Unity to continue with monthly space missions while we simultaneously work to scale our future spaceship fleet for a global audience.”

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