How Richard Branson's mission with Virgin Galactic works in space

How Richard Branson's mission with Virgin Galactic works in space

With the founder of the aerospace company, Richard Branson, there will be a team to conduct a series of flight test experiments

The crew of the Virgin Galactic flight (Virgin Galactic) On board Unity, as it was renamed the SpaceShip Two rocket for Virgin Galactic's first commercial suborbital flight, scheduled for 11 July (departure at 15.00 Italian time) there will be the founder of the company Richard Branson, a British entrepreneur. And with him Beth Moses, chief astronaut instructor of the company, who will direct the test in space and supervise that the first flight takes place safely and efficiently with respect to the objectives set. Then Colin Bennett, chief engineer for the operational part, to check the take-off phase and the “floating” situation that travelers will experience for four minutes. Also on board is Sirisha Bandla, vice president of government affairs and research operations, who will have to monitor an experiment on the conditions of travelers through a procedure developed by the University of Florida. The mission pilots are Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci for VSS Unity and CJ Sturckow and Kelly Latimer for VMS Eve.

The Virgin Galactic flight (here the instructions to follow the live broadcast) anticipates by nine days the scheduled one of Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. According to what was planned, the vehicle will describe an arc and for about 4 minutes the passengers will "float" like the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and then re-enter the atmosphere and land. Virgin Galactic's vehicles do not cross the famous Kármán line, the imaginary threshold placed at a height of 100 kilometers beyond which for the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale it acknowledges that they have really gone into space. This is the 22nd test flight conducted with the VSS Unity and the first with a full crew on board.

The company plans to conduct two more experimental flights, before starting service in 2022. The company has already received authorization from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the launch of passengers in the suborbital belt.

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