The operations of Virgin Galactic They have had difficulty taking off in recent years due to various problems (such as a fatal accident or the FAA investigation after the first manned flight). The first commercial mission, Galactic 01, was completed at the end of June this year and since then Richard Branson’s company has continued to fly with good consistency and reached the destination airport fourth trade mission (Galactic 04) in October 2023.
competition for Virgin Galactic Currently, Blue Origin remains busy with the launches of the New Shepard rocket. These are different approaches Suborbital missions last a few minutes. In the first case, a spaceplane is used that reaches a maximum altitude of almost 90 km (and therefore, according to international convention, lies below the Kármán line without reaching space). In the second case, a reusable rocket and a capsule are used that exceed a maximum altitude of 100 km. In both cases, the mission requires less training than multi-day missions in space, as in the case of Inspiration4 or those of Axiom Space. Despite all this, there seems to be enough demand to guarantee long-term profits, even considering that tickets can cost up to $450,000.
Virgin Galactic completes the Galactic 04 mission
One of them took place in May 2023 “Test Mission” which was staffed by company employees. After the first commercial mission at the end of June 2023, the second mission (Galactic 02) took place in August and the third (Galactic 03) in September. Compared to what we have seen before, the launch cadence has finally reached a more sustainable level in financial terms, allowing us to do this “slide” the list of customers (or scientific experiments on board) who have paid the advance to fly on board Spaceplane. However, to become a truly profitable reality, the arrival of future spaceplanes is required to further increase the number of missions. However, we will have to wait a few more months before we see this change.
In the meantime Virgin Galactic can celebrate success Galactic Mission 04 happened yesterday. This is therefore the third mission in three months and the fourth since mid-2023. Unlike previous missions, the company has not carried out any Live streaming to show images of what is happening on board or during the take-off and landing phase.
On board the Spaceplane they were present Ron Rosano from the USA (Astronaut 017), Trevor Beattie from Great Britain (Astronaut 018) e Namira Salim from Pakistan, but living between the United Arab Emirates and Monaco (Astronaut 019). Beth Moses, the company’s chief astronaut instructor, was on board to monitor what was happening. To control it VSS Unity spaceplane There was Kelly Latimer as commander and CJ Sturckow as pilot. The support aircraft VMS Eve was flown by Nicola Pecile as commander and Jameel Janjua as pilot.
The support aircraft and spaceplane took off from Spaceport America at 5:28 p.m. (Italian time) yesterday. The spaceplane was released in 13500 meters This allows for a more rarefied atmosphere and a shorter distance to reach maximum altitude. The climax of Galactic Mission 04 it was from 87.3km with a maximum speed of Do 2.95. The landing instead occurred at 6:28 p.m.
Michael Colglazier (CEO of Virgin Galactic) said “Our teams in New Mexico and California met our monthly spaceflight goals. Three new astronauts traveled into space today, bringing with them incredible memories and stories from their experiences above Earth. These initial missions with our first spacecraft, VSS Unity, confirmed the design and maintenance goals for our Delta-class spaceplanes [ndr. quelli che saranno impiegati in futuro] and the manufacturing tools for these spaceplanes are on track to be deployed later in the fourth quarter.”. The company already has plans Galactic Flight 05 Details will be published in the future.