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Friday, July 12, 2024

Virgin Galactic set to launch its first commercial space flight; keen tourists to pay $450K for a ticket

Virgin Galactic is launching its maiden commercial space flight, ‘Galactic 01.’ It will conduct microgravity research and offer private astronaut space missions and scientific research.

Virgin Galactic is set to reward its customers who have paid a massive amount for a space flight. The company’s maiden commercial space flight, ‘Galactic 01’, will be operated at the end of this month. It has a window of three days from June 27 to launch a six-person crew on board the VSS Unity space aircraft from  New Mexico’s Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic is owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

In early August 2023, the company will follow Galactic 01 with a second commercial spaceflight, ‘Galactic 02.’ Monthly spaceflights are expected after that.

Virgin Galactic finished its final test flight last month. At that time, the company sent a crew of four of its workers more than 50 miles above the Earth’s surface.

The firm will take everyday members of the public who have paid a large amount for tickets.  But, the first of its commercial space flights is going to be a research mission.

Galactic 01 will conduct microgravity research by carrying three members of the crew from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy – Angelo Landolfi, Pantaleone Carlucci, and Walter Villadei.

They will be joining pilot Frederick W. Sturckow, safety officer Beth Moses, and co-pilot Michael Masucci.

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said,  with two dynamic products the company is launching the maiden commercial spaceline for Earth. These products include the company’s private astronaut space missions and scientific research.

Along with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Virgin Galactic is among the big three privately-owned space companies. All three have taken civilians to space and back again in recent years.

The entrepreneurs are looking to start an era called space tourism. People are daily paying thousands for trips into space for recreational purposes.

Virgin Galactic has been able to sell nearly 800 tickets for the trip over the last 10 years. The first batch going went for £156,000 ($200,000) each. However, they currently cost $450,000 (£350,000) per person.

Sunil Pandey
Sunil Pandey
The business professional who loves penning down his thoughts/ insights on business, entrepreneurship, & startups. His ability to break down complex business concepts into easy & concise write-ups makes him a wonderful author. He believes that writing is a powerful tool for communication and education.

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