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Virgin Galactic put half a dozen primarily rich people into space

by on11 August 2023

They landed safely  

Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity, the reusable rocket-powered space plane carrying the company's first crew of tourists to space, successfully launched and landed on yesterday.

The mission, Galactic 02, took off shortly after 11am ET from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Six individuals were aboard the spacecraft- the space plane's commander and former Nasa astronaut CJ Sturckow, the pilot Kelly Latimer, and Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor who trained the crew before the flight.

The spacecraft also carried three private passengers, including the health and wellness coach Keisha Schahaff and her 18-year-old daughter, Anastasia Mayers, who are Antiguan.

Galactic 02 is a suborbital flight. However, despite VSS Unity not reaching orbit, the trajectory allows passengers to experience several minutes of weightlessness at an altitude high enough to see the Earth's curvature, explains.

Following liftoff, Virgin Galactic's carrier plane VMS Eve transported VSS Unity to an altitude of about 44,300ft. Eve then dropped Unity, which fired its rocket motor and ascended to suborbital space.

Passengers aboard experienced approximately 3Gs. Live footage inside the spacecraft showed the passengers unstrapping themselves from their seats and peering down to earth through the windows as they floated throughout the spacecraft.

This was Virgin Galactic's first flight to carry rich people who were private customers. In June, Galactic 01 carried three crew members from the Italian air force and the National Research Council of Italy. According to Virgin Galactic, the company has already booked a backlog of about 800 customers. Tickets have ranged from $250,000 to $450,000. Galactic 03, the company's third commercial spaceflight, is planned for September.

Last modified on 11 August 2023
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