Advanced Television

Virgin Galactic outlines next missions

June 19, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Virgin Galactic will re-start commercial flights before the end of June. Its first mission, dubbed ‘Galactic 01’, and the first commercial flight of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle will happen between June 27th-30th on a scientific mission for the Italian Air Force.

SpaceShipTwo will fly from Spaceport America in New Mexico. It will carry three people from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy under a contract Virgin Galactic signed with the Italian Air Force in 2019. The three will conduct microgravity research on the flight.

The news prompted Virgin Galactic’s share price to rise by more than 40 per cent on the positive prospects.

This initial mission will be followed by ‘Galactic 02’ in early August. This flight will be the first to carry private individuals who signed up for space tourism flights with Virgin, with passengers paying up to $450,000 per seat. Virgin Galactic says it will conduct SpaceShipTwo flights on a monthly basis thereafter.

According to reports Virgin Galactic has more than 800 active tickets issued to would-be flyers. Those early bookers have already received seat assignments, said Virgin.

Virgin Galactic carried out a test flight with six passengers on May 25th and going to a peak altitude of 87.2 kms before landing back at Spaceport America.

The revenue prospects are key, given that Virgin Galactic’s Q1 results (to March 31st) showed net losses of $159 million.

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