Virgin Galactic Holdings, an American spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson, has completed its first private astronaut flight, ‘Galactic 02.’
The Space tourism mission achieved multiple historic milestones, showcasing how Virgin Galactic spaceflights are broadening access to space for a diverse, global community of astronauts.
The carrier mothership VMS Eve took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The Unity rocket ship separated from Eve in fifty minutes into the voyage as planned. In a short time, the passengers were given the go-ahead to unbuckle and enjoy zero gravity at a height of about 85km (280,000ft).
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) August 10, 2023
Flying private astronauts Mr. Jon Goodwin from the United Kingdom, and Ms. Keisha Schahaff and Ms. Anastatia Mayers from Antigua and Barbuda, ‘Galactic 02’ achieved the following:
- First female astronauts from the Caribbean
- First mother-daughter duo to go to space
- Most women flown in a single space mission
- Youngest person to go to space
- First Olympian to go to space
- First majority female spaceflight
- The sixth and seventh Black women to go to space
- Second person with Parkinson’s to go to space
- Third oldest person to go to space
“Today Virgin Galactic took another historic leap forward by flying our first private astronaut mission and demonstrating how our spaceflights will broaden access to space. Jon, Keisha and Ana each embody our fundamental belief that space is for everyone, and we are proud that today’s flight has inspired people and communities around the world. This is just the beginning, as we plan to continue flying monthly spaceflights while also developing our Delta Class production spaceships to scale our business.”
The company will now proceed with post-flight inspections and analysis in preparation for the next commercial space mission, ‘Galactic 03,’ which is planned for September in a continuation of Virgin Galactic’s monthly flight cadence.