Virgin Galactic Completes Inaugural Commercial Spaceflight

By Dave Simpson
Virgin Galactic Completes Inaugural Commercial Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic has completed its inaugural commercial spaceflight.


The "Galactic 01" spaceflight carried 13 research payloads and three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy.

The mission objectives were as follows:

• Conducted 13 human-tended and autonomous experiments to examine the biomedical field, thermo-fluid dynamics and the development of innovative and sustainable materials in microgravity conditions.

• Evaluated and measured hypergravity to microgravity transition effects on the human body, including both biological and physical data properties.


• Collected data through wearable research payloads and sensors, and by autonomous research payloads mounted in the cabin on Virgin Galactic's payload rack system.

"Galactic 02", a commercial spaceflight for private astronauts, is scheduled for August, with monthly flights to space planned thereafter.


Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said, "“Today, our team successfully flew six people and more than a dozen research payloads to space in VSS Unity, our unique, suborbital science lab. This historic flight was our first commercial flight and our first dedicated commercial research mission - ushering in a new era of repeatable and reliable access to space for private passengers and researchers. 'Galactic 02', our first spaceflight with private astronauts, is planned for August and we expect VSS Unity to continue with monthly space missions while we simultaneously work to scale our future spaceship fleet for a global audience."

Colonel Walter Villadei of the Italian Air Force said, "I am beyond proud to be a part of this historic spaceflight. 'Galactic 01' is Italy's first commercial suborbital research spaceflight, and an amazing achievement made possible thanks to the long-lasting collaboration between the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy. During the centennial year of both Italian institutions, we fly to the highest point of our history. This groundbreaking collaboration propels Italy into the new era of commercial spaceflight as a pathfinder, fostering innovation and paving the way for further technological enhancement in this strategic domain. Together, and in partnership with Virgin Galactic, we have set a precedent for future endeavors and
the boundless possibilities that lie ahead. We honor today all the people who not only have made possible this amazing flight, but all the ones who have dedicated their life to our beliefs in this past 100 years. Virtute Siderum Tenus."

VP of Government Affairs and Research Operations Sirisha Bandla said, "We are honoured that our first commercial spaceflight enabled the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy to successfully carry out their first suborbital research experiments. This successful mission gives us just a preview of what discoveries may result from reliable access to space to further scientific knowledge."


Read More: Virgin Galactic Announces Crew And Date For First Commercial Spaceflight

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