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Virgin Galactic Marks 11th Spaceflight with Full Passenger Manifest
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Virgin Galactic Marks 11th Spaceflight with Full Passenger Manifest
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 29, 2024

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE), a pioneer in the field of commercial space travel, has completed its first spaceflight of 2024, marking its 11th mission overall. The 'Galactic 06' flight is notable for being the first to carry a full complement of private astronauts on board the VSS Unity.

Michael Colglazier, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, expressed his pride and confidence in the company's progress. "Today the incredible team at Virgin Galactic supported another successful mission and delivered an unforgettable experience for four new astronauts.

The success of 'Galactic 06' and the Company's other commercial spaceflights in recent months only increases our confidence in the repeatability of our product and our ability to deliver a superlative experience to our customers," he said. Colglazier also highlighted the ongoing development of Virgin Galactic's next-generation Delta-class ships, expected to commence testing next year and enter commercial service in 2026.

The historic 'Galactic 06' mission featured a diverse group of private astronauts:

Astronaut 023 - Lina Borozdina, from Ukraine and Nevada, U.S. Astronaut 024 - Robie Vaughn, from Texas, U.S. Astronaut 025 - Franz Haider, from Austria Astronaut 026 - Neil Kornswiet, from California, U.S.

These astronauts embarked on their journey from Spaceport America, where over 150 guests and Virgin Galactic's team witnessed the launch. The VSS Unity was expertly commanded by C.J. Sturckow, with Nicola Pecile as the pilot. Michael Masucci led the mothership VMS Eve, joined by pilot Dan Alix.

The 'Galactic 06' mission achieved remarkable feats, including an apogee of 55.2 miles and a top speed of Mach 2.98. The spaceplane took off at 10:00 am MT and successfully completed its mission, landing at 10:56 am MT.

Looking ahead, Virgin Galactic plans its next mission in the second quarter of 2024. This upcoming mission is expected to include both a researcher and private astronauts, further broadening the scope of Virgin Galactic's spaceflights. More details on this future mission will be revealed in the coming months.

Virgin Galactic's journey represents a bold step in the burgeoning field of commercial space travel. With its series of successful missions and the development of its Delta-class spaceships, Virgin Galactic is steadily moving towards a future where space travel is more accessible to a broader audience. As the space industry continues to evolve, Virgin Galactic remains at the forefront, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in space tourism.

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