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San Francisco, June 16 – Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is aiming to launch its first-ever commercial spaceflight service beginning June 27, the company has announced.
The company has set a launch window of June 27 to June 30 for the flight named Galactic 01, it said in a statement late on Thursday.
It also aims to roll out Galactic 02 in early August with monthly commercial flights thereafter
“Galactic 01, a scientific research mission, will carry three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy to conduct microgravity research,” Virgin Galactic said in the statement.
“With scientific payloads on board, the spaceflight will showcase the value and power of the unique suborbital science lab that Virgin Galactic offers.”
Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceflight system consists of two elements: a carrier plane known as VMS Eve and a six-passenger, two-pilot SpaceShipTwo space plane called VSS Unity.
After reaching around 50,000 feet of altitude, Eve drops Unity before the spaceplane blasts its way to suborbital space, allowing passengers to experience a few moments of weightlessness.
Late last month, Virgin Galactic had successfully completed its final test flight to suborbital space — the company’s first flight in nearly two years.
The last Virgin Galactic spaceflight took place in July 2021 and had Virgin CEO Richard Branson, along with three other employees, on board.
About 800 tickets have been sold over the past decade, with the initial batch going for $200,000 each. Tickets now cost $450,000 per person.