Virgin Galactic completes sixth sub-orbital flight in six months to round out its year

by | Nov 3, 2023 | Seradata News, Space tourism, Suborbital, Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic has completed its sixth sub-orbital, space tourism, flight of the year on 2 November. This mission started at 1502 GMT when the VMS Eve carrier aircraft lifted-off from the Spaceport America, New Mexico. At 1545 GMT VSS Unity was released from Eve to begin its independent flight.

On-board Unity were three Virgin Galactic crew members: Pilots Mike Masucci and Kelly Latimer and Astronaut Instructor Colin Bennet. Of the paying participants one was Ketty Maisonrouge, a space tourist who had reportedly purchased her ticket with Virgin Galactic back in 2005, the other two participants were there alongside their agencies sub-orbital experiments. These consisted of Dr Alan Stern, Southwest Resarch Institute, who was minding two experiments and Kellie Gerardi, International Institute for Astronautical Sciences, who came with three experiments. 

A screengrab from a video showing VSS Unity igniting tis main engine shortly after release from its carrier craft. Courtesy: Virgin Galactic via YouTube

 

The flight lasted for approximately 14 minutes and reportedly reached an altitude of 87.2 km before the Unity craft successfully landed back at Spaceport America at 1559 GMT. 

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