Richard Branson’s space travel company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. said it will start commercial spaceflight with Galactic 01, expected to launch on June 29.
“Virgin Galactic will embark on a research mission for the Italian Air Force as its first commercial mission. The crew includes personnel from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy, said Virgin Galactic.
Col. Walter Villadei, Lt.Col. Angelo Landolfi, and Pantaleone Carlucci will board VSS Unity for a 90-minute flight and conduct 13 scientific research experiments, Galactic said in a statement. The live stream of the launch will begin at 11:00 am ET on the day of the flight.
In February, the company said that its commercial service launch remains on track for the second quarter of 2023.
“Join us on June 29 to see where curiosity can take us all, with our first scientific research mission crewed by the Italian airforce and CNR,” said Virgin Galactic in a tweet.
Galactic suspended flights of spaceplane VSS Unity and its carrier plane VMS Eve to make enhancements in 2021 after taking Branson and three other passengers to space in July.
Galactic 01, formerly referred to as Unity 23, was originally scheduled for mid – October 2021 and was rescheduled to allow for the enhancement period.
“Galactic’s second commercial spaceflight will be in early August and monthly spaceflights are expected after that,” said the company.
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Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Jessi Rexroad Shull and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld
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