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Mon, Jan 29, 2024

Virgin Galactic Completes Flight 11

Company Begins Passenger Service in Earnest

Virgin Galactic completed its 11th tourist space flight, taking up 4 passengers on "Galactic 06".

The manifest included "Astronauts" 023 to 026: Lina Borozdina, Robie Vaughn, Franz Haider, and Neil Kornswiet. The launch took place at Spaceport America, when the VSS Unity took to the skies under the wing of Virgin's mothership VMS Eve. The flight marked the very first time all 4 passenger seats were taken up by paying non-company passengers.

Like all Virgin Galactic flights, the 'space' element is somewhat overplayed - pax experienced the sights and zero gravity of outer space to an extent, but the Unity took a jaunt through a higher section of the atmosphere. Eve released the Unity at nearly 45,000 feet, allowing it to boost its way up to a peak altitude of 55.1 statute miles, or 290,928 feet of altitude. While very space-like in its effects, that altitude lies comfortably in the lower reaches of the thermosphere, the second-to-last layer of the Earth's atmosphere. it's a hair-splitting difference to those in the sky, however, who got to enjoy views and sensations scarcely distinguishable from true space travel in the absolute vacuum beyond the atmosphere.

“Today the incredible team at Virgin Galactic supported another successful mission and delivered an unforgettable experience for four new astronauts," said Michael Colglazier, CEO. "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. With the production of our next-generation Delta-class ships underway, we look forward to expanding our flight capacity with testing expected to start next year and commercial service in 2026.”



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