Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, has successfully completed its first commercial suborbital flight. On Thursday, June 29, their spacecraft VSS Unity took off and returned to Earth as part of the Galactic 01 mission.
The flight began with Unity strapped to a support plane called Eve, which took off from the launch site in New Mexico, USA. Unity separated from Eve at an altitude of approximately 15 kilometers and continued its ascent using its own engines, reaching a height of over 84 kilometers. During this journey, passengers experienced several minutes of weightlessness and witnessed the Earth's surface.
The crew on board included three Virgin Galactic crew members, two of them piloting the vehicle, as well as three members of the Italian Air Force as paying customers. Additionally, there were 13 research payloads on board, allowing the crew to conduct various scientific experiments.
Virgin Galactic plans to conduct its next commercial spaceflight in August and aims to send people to space on a monthly basis in the future.