With the founder of the aerospace company, Richard Branson, there will be a team to conduct a series of flight test experiments
On board of Unity, as the razzo SpaceShip Two for the Virgin Galactic’s first commercial suborbital flight, scheduled for 11 July (departure at 3 pm, Italian time) there will be the founder of the company Richard Branson, British businessman. And with him Beth Moses, the company’s chief instructor astronaut, who will direct the test in space and supervise that the first flight is carried out 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. On board too Sirisha Bandla, vice president of government affairs and research operations, who will monitor an experiment on traveler conditions 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. As planned, the vehicle will describe an arc and for approx 4 minutes the passengers “Galleggeranno” like the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and then re-enter the atmosphere and land. Virgin Galactic vehicles they do not cross the famous Kármán line, the imaginary threshold placed at a height of 100 kilometers beyond which the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale acknowledges that they have really gone to the space. This is the 22nd test flight conducted with the VSS Unity and the first with a full crew on board.
The airline plans to carry out two more experimental flights before start the service in 2022. The company has already received theauthorization of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the launch of passengers in the suborbital belt.