Branson: Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflights begin this month 2023

Virgin Galactic, owned by Sir Richard Branson, will launch its first commercial voyage before the end of the month.

Galactic 01’s launch window is June 27-30.

Virgin Galactic shares rose 40% in prolonged New York trade after the investor announcement. After a botched flight, the UK billionaire’s Virgin Orbit space business closed in May.

Virgin Galactic’s inaugural trip will undertake microgravity research with three Italian Air Force and National Research Council crew members.

The business plans monthly spaceflights after its second commercial spaceflight in early August.

Virgin Galactic, a 19-year-old company that has survived accidents and technological issues, celebrates this milestone.

Virgin Galactic’s Unity rocket aircraft returned to flight last month.

Two pilots and four passengers rode the vehicle to the brink of space in New Mexico before gliding down.

It was the last test flight before the company’s long-awaited commercial launch.

Virgin Galactic has sold over 800 tickets to travel 80km (260,000ft) above Earth.

The rides provide guests a few minutes of weightlessness and space vistas at the summit. $450,000 (£352,170) each.

Sir Richard wanted Virgin Orbit to launch satellites as well as space tourists.

After a failed mission, Virgin Orbit closed in May.

The satellite launch company halted operations earlier this year to boost funds.

Virgin Orbit sold its converted jet Cosmic Girl and much of its California headquarters. Virgin’s CEO had a rough day.

Sir Richard told the BBC in May that pandemic lockdowns cost him £1.5 billion (£1.9 billion).

“I thought we would lose everything,” he said. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, he is worth £2.4 billion.

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