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Final Commercial Service Test of Virgin Galactic’s Unity 25 Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic Unity 25 spaceflight: Final commercial service test

Virgin Galactic Unity 25 spaceflight: Final commercial service test

Virgin Galactic, the space-tourism company, launched its first spaceflight in almost two years on Thursday, marking a crucial final assessment flight before it begins flying commercial passengers. The mission, called Unity 25, was the company’s fifth spaceflight to date and represents a crucial moment in the history of Virgin Galactic, which has suffered repeated setbacks and years of delays in developing its spaceflight system. Unity 25 was piloted by Virgin Galactic’s Mike Masucci and CJ Sturckow, while carrier aircraft VMS Eve was flown by Jameel Janjua and Nicola Pecile. Six Virgin Galactic employees were onboard for the short trip to the edge of space.

Carrier aircraft VMS Eve took off at about 11:15 a.m. ET, carrying the company’s VSS Unity spacecraft up to an altitude of about 40,000 feet. VMS Eve released the rocket-powered vehicle shortly after noon E.T. for VSS Unity to then fire its engine and climb past 80 kilometers (or about 262,000 feet) —the altitude the U.S. recognizes as the boundary of space. It ultimately hit about 286,176 feet. This type of spaceflight, known as sub-orbital, gives passengers a couple of minutes of weightlessness, unlike the much longer, more difficult and more expensive private orbital flights conducted by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Though the company did not publicly livestream the flight, Virgin Galactic provided updates on Unity 25’s progress on social media, as a third-party webcast tracked the launch. Virgin Galactic previously said it aims to fly its first commercial mission in “late June,” assuming a successful test flight on Thursday. Amid the excitement, the stock of Virgin Galactic slipped by about 4% on Thursday from its previous close of $4.41 a share.

FAQs:

What is Virgin Galactic?
Virgin Galactic is a space-tourism company.

What was Unity 25 mission?
Unity 25 mission represented the company’s fifth spaceflight to date. It was a crucial final assessment flight before it begins flying commercial passengers.

How much does it cost to book a ticket with Virgin Galactic?
Virgin Galactic has 600 reservations for tickets on future flights, sold at prices between $200,000 and $250,000 each. It reopened ticket sales in 2021, with pricing beginning at $450,000 per seat.

What is the difference between sub-orbital and orbital spaceflight?
Sub-orbital spaceflight gives passengers a couple of minutes of weightlessness, unlike the much longer, more difficult, and more expensive private orbital flights conducted by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Virgin Galactic Unity 25 spaceflight: Final commercial service test
Virgin Galactic Unity 25 spaceflight: Final commercial service test

Final Commercial Service Test: Virgin Galactic’s Unity 25 Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic has completed its first spaceflight in almost two years, marking a significant final test before commercial passenger flights begin. Dubbed Unity 25, the trip represented the fifth spaceflight for the space tourism company. The mission launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico and included six Virgin Galactic employees on board. It flew to the edge of space, with carrier aircraft VMS Eve taking the spacecraft VSS Unity up to an altitude of approximately 40,000ft before releasing the rocket-powered vehicle. VSS Unity then used its own engine to climb to about 286,176ft, the altitude recognised by the US as the boundary of space.

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