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Virgin Galactic Plans to Resume Commercial Spaceflights in October

Virgin Galactic Plans to Resume Commercial Spaceflights in October

Virgin Galactic Plans to Resume Commercial Spaceflights in October

Virgin Galactic has announced its plans to resume commercial spaceflights with the launch of Galactic 04 on October 5. This will be the company’s fourth commercial spaceflight and ninth space mission overall. The mission will have three space tourists on board, one each from the U.S., the U.K., and Pakistan. This marks a significant milestone as no one from Pakistan has been to space before.

The names of the trio joining Galactic 04 have not been disclosed yet. The launch will take place at Spaceport America in New Mexico, with Virgin’s VSS Unity space plane carrying the customers to suborbital space and back. The space plane will be lifted into the sky by VMS Eve, a carrier craft. After reaching an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet, Unity will ignite its rocket motor to reach suborbital space.

The passengers aboard VSS Unity will experience a few minutes of weightlessness and witness the Earth against the blackness of space. Currently, a ticket for a ride on the space plane costs $450,000. Galactic 04 will add three more astronauts to Virgin Galactic’s roster, bringing the total count to 19.

Virgin Galactic aims to maintain a regular launch schedule, with commercial missions taking place approximately once per month. This commitment has already been demonstrated with the successful launches of Galactic 01, 02, and 03 in June, August, and September of this year, respectively.

Looking ahead, Virgin Galactic plans to increase the frequency of launches significantly with the introduction of their “Delta” line of space planes by 2026. These advanced vehicles are designed to fly once per week, allowing for more frequent access to space for customers.

In the suborbital space tourism market, Virgin Galactic’s main competitor is Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos. However, Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle has been grounded since a failure during an uncrewed flight in September 2022, giving Virgin Galactic an opportunity to lead the way in commercial spaceflights.

Virgin Galactic intends to return to space on October 5th with three private astronauts (
Virgin Galactic targets launch of Galactic 04 in early October (Virgin Galactic)

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