Virgin Galactic Announces Crew And Date For First Commercial Spaceflight

By Dave Simpson
Virgin Galactic Announces Crew And Date For First Commercial Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic has announced that the target flight date for its first commercial spaceflight, Galactic 01, is 29 June 2023 from Spaceport America, New Mexico.

The three person crew from the Italian Air Force and National Research Council of Italy will board VSS Unity for a 90-minute flight to conduct a series of suborbital science experiments. VSS Unity's cabin will be transformed into a suborbital science lab to provide the environment for rack mounted payloads and for the crew to interact with wearable payloads.

  • Conduct 13 human-tended and autonomous experiments which examine biomedicine thermo-fluid dynamics, and the development of innovative and sustainable materials in microgravity conditions.
  • Collect data through wearable payloads and sensors, and by autonomous payloads mounted in the cabin on Virgin Galactic's payload rack system.

Galactic 01 Crew

  • Col. Walter Villadei, Italian Air Force: Mission Commander
    • Col. Villadei is the "Virtute 1" mission commander. He will be tending to the rack-mounted payloads and wearing a state-of-the-art smart suit to measure his biometric data and physiological responses. He is in charge of the research execution and this spaceflight is part of his astronaut training for a future orbital space mission to the ISS.
  • Lt. Col. Angelo Landolfi, Physician, Italian Air Force
    • Lt. Col. Landolfi plans to conduct tests on "Galactic 01" to measure cognitive performance in microgravity and to investigate how certain liquids and solids mix in microgravity.
  • Pantaleone Carlucci, Engineer, National Research Council of Italy (CNR)
    • Carlucci will be conducting tests that involve wearing multiple sensors that examine heart rate, brain function and other human performance metrics during spaceflight and in microgravity.
  • Colin Bennett, Virgin Galactic: Astronaut Instructor
    • Bennett is the lead astronaut instructor carrying out all training and preparation for the Italian Air Force mission and will fly with the crew to assess the research flight experience during the mission

Virgin Galactic will share a global livestream of flight at The livestream is expected to begin at 9:00am MT/11:00am ET on the day of flight.

Read More: Virgin Galactic Plans First Commercial Space Service For June; Shares Take Off

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