Virgin Galactic's 1st commercial spaceflight launches this week.


Virgin Galactic has announced the four-person crew that will fly aboard the company's first commercial spaceflight.

The mission, Galactic 01, is scheduled take off from Virgin Galactic's Spaceport America in New Mexico sometime after 11 a.m. EDT (1600 GMT) on Thursday (June 29). VSS Unity reaches suborbital flight through the help of a double-bodied carrier aircraft called VMS Eve, which takes off from a runway at Spaceport America. Once at an altitude around 50,000 feet (15,000 meters) VSS Unity is released from Eve, after which it fires its rocket engine and travels the rest of the way to space on its own. The suborbital flight lasts long enough to grant the Galactic 01 crew members a few minutes of weightlessness, and a chance to perform their handful of research experiments.

Today, Virgin Galactic has announced who will be riding aboard for the company's first commercial mission. Riding aboard the company's reusable SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, will be Virgin Galactic's Colin Bennett and a trio from the Italian Air Force and the nation's National Research Council who will collect data for a number of scientific investigations during their flight. 

Source: www.space.com


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