Virgin Galactic Announce Galactic 03 Flight Window31st Aug 2023
Following success with their first commercial spaceflight, Galactic 02, Virgin Galactic has announced their Galactic 03 flight window set for 8th September. Virgin Galactic said their paying customers are the ‘founding astronauts’ who “bought their tickets as early as 2005”. “Since then, [they] have been an active part of the Company’s vibrant Future Astronaut community.” If all goes to plan, this next commercial launch will see Virgin Galactic complete its fourth spaceflight in four months.
Where To Watch The Galactic 03 Launch
Like the previous Galactic 02 launch, Virgin Galactic will livestream the event on their YouTube channel and on their social media platforms. These links are yet to be released. Nevertheless, ‘the founders’ will soon find themselves reaching suborbit in what Virgin Galactic calls a continuous “monthly cadence of spaceflights.”
The flight will see carrier aircraft, VSS Unity, take flight, guided by its mothership, VMS Eve, and release at an altitude of 50,000 feet. VSS Unity will then initiate its main booster and fly into Earth’s suborbit. Once complete, the spacecraft will then land back on the runway at Spaceport America. To keep excitement brewing in anticipation for the launch, a link to the previous Galactic 02 mission is available below.
Who Are The Founders & The Crew Onboard?
The Galactic 03 crew will consist of VSS Unity Commander, Nicola Pecile, and VSS Unity Pilot, Michael Masucci. Astronaut instructor Colin Bennett will also be onboard. Virgin Galactic said their paying customers are those who initially coughed up the US$450,000 ticket price in 2005. However, names of the ‘founding astronauts’ have not been released. Instead, Virgin Galactic noted they are: “the first customers whose forward-thinking vision and early ticket purchases helped make the dream of regular commercial space flights a reality.”
Introducing New Astronauts Through The Commercial Programme
Following a successful suborbital flight, Virgin Galactic said their founding customers will soon become astronauts 014, 015, and 016. Previously, Virgin Galactic “introduced eleven new astronauts to the world” in the past 12 weeks, all arising from their commercial space programme. The space tourism company are reporting a healthy number of active customers, saying “this community [is] comprised of approximately 800 individuals representing over 60 different countries.”