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Virgin Galactic sets January 2024 for 11th mission
Virgin Galactic Unity in flight.
Virgin Galactic sets January 2024 for 11th mission
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Dec 21, 2023

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SPCE) has officially announced the opening of its 'Galactic 06' flight window on January 26, 2024. This mission will mark the company's 11th spaceflight, following a year of remarkable achievements in human spaceflight, including six suborbital missions in just six months.

The upcoming 'Galactic 06' flight is set to continue Virgin Galactic's pioneering journey into space tourism. This mission will feature four private astronauts, hailing from diverse backgrounds and representing three different countries, thus embodying the international nature of the emerging space tourism sector. The astronauts include individuals from Ukraine and California, United States (Astronaut 023), Texas, United States (Astronaut 024), Austria (Astronaut 025), and another from California, United States (Astronaut 026).

Virgin Galactic's commitment to regular, safe, and customer-centric spaceflights was emphasized by CEO Michael Colglazier. "Our inaugural year of commercial service demonstrated our spaceflight system's ability to regularly deliver a safe and unparalleled customer experience for our astronauts and established new turn time records for reusable human spaceflight systems," Colglazier stated. The CEO's remarks underscore the company's success in establishing a reliable and efficient operation, setting a benchmark in the rapidly evolving field of commercial spaceflight.

The 'Galactic 06' mission will be conducted using the company's established spaceflight system, which includes the VSS Unity spaceplane and the VMS Eve mothership. The mission crew will be led by VSS Unity Commander CJ Sturckow and pilot Nicola Pecile, along with VMS Eve Commander Michael Masucci and pilot Dan Alix. This experienced crew highlights Virgin Galactic's emphasis on safety and expertise in its operations.

Virgin Galactic, founded by Sir Richard Branson, has been at the forefront of the space tourism industry, striving to make suborbital spaceflights accessible to the public. The company's innovative approach involves the use of reusable spacecraft, which is not only cost-effective but also essential for the sustainable development of space tourism. The 'Galactic 06' flight is a testament to the company's ongoing efforts to refine and enhance its spaceflight capabilities.

This mission also represents a significant step for the private space exploration sector, a field that has seen substantial growth and interest in recent years. Virgin Galactic's continued success in this arena is crucial for the broader acceptance and expansion of commercial space travel. With its focus on delivering unique experiences to private astronauts and advancing the technology of reusable spacecraft, Virgin Galactic is paving the way for a new era of exploration and discovery in space.

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