That was announced a few days ago Virgin Galactic She would fly again and not just bring the pilots of the VSS Unity spaceplane but also a crew of four, including one of the astronaut instructors and the chief instructor. It was therefore a test flight with a view to resuming commercial operations following the cessation of activity following an FAA investigation in 2021 and the decision to improve service prior to resuming flight.
There Unity 25 mission It went correctly when we reached just over 80 km altitude. This has resulted in it being classified as an aircraft by the FAA and US Air Force suborbital spaceflight. However, the mission did not reach and exceed 100 km, where the Kármán Line is ideally positioned, after which one enters the space for international authorities and regulations.
Virgin Galactic flies again with the Unity 25 mission
As the company reports Richard Branson the start of VMS Eve (the support plane) with VSS unit The hull-related issue occurred at approximately 5:15 p.m. today, May 25, 2023, from Spaceport America in New Mexico. It was the 25th flight VSS unit while it is the fifth mission that will arrive at an altitude of around 80 km.
At around 6:24 p.m., the publication of the spaceplane From Virgin Galactic which successfully separated from the support aircraft at about 13,600 meters. In about two minutes, the 80km mark was reached and passed, with the company declaring a maximum quota From 87.2 km. The maximum recorded speed was do 2.94 (corresponds to about 3630 km/h). The spaceplane landed at around 6:37 p.m. without any problems.
VSS unit It was flown by Mike Masucci (Commander) and CJ Sturckow (Pilot). They were present as a crew BethMosesChief Instructor accompanied by Luke Mays (astronaut instructor). Instead, they were present as mission specialists Jamila Gilbert And Christopher Huieboth employees of the company.
Gilbert he explained “New Mexico, looks even more beautiful from space. I flew into space just an hour from the street I grew up on. It’s hard to describe what I experienced, but I’m sure I’ll try for the rest of my life.” Do it […]“. Whoa he added that “Looking at our beautiful planet from space, something few people have experienced, has made me more humbled, inspired and awestruck.” […]“. Richard Branson he wrote instead in a post “This is just the beginning and I look forward to continuing to push boundaries with Virgin Galactic and highlight the doors that commercial space can open for innovation.”.
Virgin Galactic will now conduct a series of data analysis and mission reviews VSS unit to allow the resumption of commercial flights with the invoked mission Galactic 01 On board, members of the Italian Air Force and the CNR will conduct a series of experiments under microgravity conditions.