Virgin Galactic prepares for sixth commercial spaceflight

Mystery surrounds the identities of the four 'Future Astronauts', 48hrs from takeoff

The launch window for Virgin Galactic‘s first space flight launch of 2024 remains open for tomorrow, Friday 26 January 2024, from Spaceport America.

‘Galactic 6’ was flagged in late December. It will be a revenue space flight, carrying four paying customers whose details remain a mystery. Last month, Virgin Galactic confirmed that the customers heralded from Ukraine, Austria and the United States (from Texas and California).

In a post on social media yesterday, Virgin Galactic confirmed that “the crew have completed VSS Unity Spaceflight Simulator Training”.

Unity 25 Spaceship flight

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Earlier this week, the ‘Space Line for Earth’ revealed the patch (pictured above) that the newest Astronauts will don on their spacesuits. The patch represents the Ukrainian, Austrian and United States nationalities showcasing the crew’s global background. One star for each Pilot and Astronaut crew and a central seven-point star denoting mountains and continents conquered by members of the crew.

Galactic 6 will be the 11th spaceflight since Virgin Galactic successfully operated its first flight in mid-December 2018.

Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic took out a gong earlier this month at the inaugural in-person Astro Awards held in Austin, Texas by Everyday Astronaut. The annual awards celebrate the achievements made in space during the 2023 calendar year and Virgin Galactic was recognised for ‘Commercial Human Flights’.

Christopher Huie, Virgin Galactic Astronaut #006, Senior Business Manager, said “2023 was a really big year for us. Six spaceflights in six months is huge!”

Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic Astronaut #004, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations, lauded the diversity of the commercial Astronauts that have already flown with the brand in 2023.

Bandla said the ‘Everyday Astronaut’ marries perfectly with the ethos of Virgin Galactic.

 

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“That’s really core to our goal… to send the everyday person [to space], who is an incredible ambassador to humanity, and to take their experience back to the communities [they come from] and continue to do remarkable things”.

Bandla and Huie (right) are pictured at the ceremony in Texas with Tim Todd, The Everyday Astronaut, accepting the award on behalf of Virgin Galactic.

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