Virgin Galactic announced on Monday May 8th 2023 that it will resume flights with a mission this month.
“Unity 25 is the final assessment of the full spaceflight system and astronaut experience before commercial service opens in late June,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement.
The first commercial flight, Galactic 01, will carry passengers from the Italian Air Force some time in June of 2023. Flights are from Spaceport America.
Unity 25 will be the company’s fifth trip into space. Four company employees will be on board Unity 25: Beth Moses, who has taken part in two previous Virgin Galactic flights, Jamila Gilbert, Chris Huie, and Luke Mays. Two pilots are also assigned to the mothership and two to the spaceship.
Virgin Galactic uses a carrier aircraft that takes off from a runway and gains altitude. The carrier then drops the smaller rocket-powered aircraft, with passengers inside. They experience weightlessness after rocketing to an even higher altitude. The aircraft then glides to a landing on the runway. The total trip to the edge of space is 90 minutes.