Watch Live: Virgin Galactic Launches First Commercial Crew, Marking New Era In Space Tourism ZeroHedge

On Thursday morning, billionaire Richard Branson’s spaceflight company Virgin Galactic will launch its first commercial crew to the edge of space.

The first mission, Galactic 01, will begin around 1100 ET from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The VSS Unity spacecraft will carry four passengers and 13 experiments to collect medical and cosmic radiation data and study fluid dynamics in suborbital space. 

Prior flights have shown VSS Unity is attached to a carrier aircraft called VMS Eve. Once the carrier aircraft reaches an altitude of about 50,000 feet, VSS Unity will detach and ignite rockets that will propel it to a maximum height of 54.2 miles. 

Virgin Galactic opening its business for space tourists is a pivotal point for the private space tourism industry. Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said today’s mission “will usher in a new era of repeatable and reliable access to space for government and research institutions for years to come.” 

We are wired to wonder. And when we open access to space to more people like researchers and scientists from @ItalianAirForce & @CNRsocial_, we have the power to unlock our potential here on Earth. Join us TOMORROW at 9:00 am MDT 11:00 am EDT to watch #Galactic01 live:… pic.twitter.com/ZeC4bQnpTz

— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) June 28, 2023

“This flight will showcase our distinctive spaceflight system, which allows researchers to fly with their experiments, and our capacity to offer regular access to space for the science and technology community,” said Sirisha Bandla, vice president of government affairs and research operations at Virgin Galactic. 

The Galactic 02 mission is slated for early August if today’s mission is successful.

Watch the launch event here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Su9IbRyS_aE

A seat on the VSS Unity is priced at around $450,000, or about the price of the average US single-family home. So this new industry only caters to the super-rich and comes at a terrible time for exploration companies following the Titan sub implosion earlier this month. 

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