In an historic moment, Virgin Galactic is another step closer to making commercial space travel a reality with the recent successful spaceflight of VSS Unity.
The craft’s entry into space marks a number of milestones; the flight marks the first time that a crewed vehicle built for commercial, passenger service, has reached space, as well as the first human spaceflight to be launched from U.S. soil since the final Space Shuttle mission in 2011.
In addition, the crew flew four space science and technology experiments on VSS Unity, making this Virgin Galactic’s first revenue generating flight.
“Many of you will know how important the dream of space travel is to me personally, said Virgin CEO Richard Branson. “We started Virgin nearly 50 years ago dreaming big and loving a challenge. Today, as I stood among a truly remarkable group of people with our eyes on the stars, we saw our biggest dream and our toughest challenge to date fulfilled. It was an indescribable feeling: joy, relief, exhilaration and anticipation for what is yet to come."
This latest test follows the fatal 2014 flight of VSS Enterprise, Virgin Galactic’s first craft, in which the craft broke apart mid-air, killing the co-pilot.
While an official launch date remains to be announced, to date more than 600 future passengers worldwide have reserved a spot on a Virgin Galactic flight.