Virgin Galactic’s (NYSE: SPCE) space plane, the VSS Unity, achieved a significant milestone by launching its first tourist crew into space, before safely landing back on Earth.
Setting off from Spaceport America in New Mexico, the mission dubbed “Galactic 02” had six people on board, including Commander and former NASA astronaut CJ Sturckow, pilot Kelly Latimer, and Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, Beth Moses, as well as three private passengers.
The mission is also of significance because it holds the record for flying the most women in one spaceflight. Although this was the company’s second commercial spaceflight, it was the maiden flight with private passengers, prompting Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson to take to Twitter to celebrate the achievement.
Following his own space venture in July 2021, Branson’s space tourism venture now competes with billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. With tickets priced between $250,000 and $450,000, Virgin Galactic has amassed roughly 800 bookings, with the next mission— Galactic 03, set for September.
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