Virgin Galactic completes first fully crewed test spaceflight

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Xinhua News

12th July 2021 – (Washington) Space tourism company Virgin Galactic completed its first fully crewed test flight of its spacecraft on Sunday, making a giant leap toward commercial suborbital spaceflight.

The mission, dubbed “Unity 22,” was the company’s fourth crewed spaceflight, and the 22nd flight test for the company’s spacecraft VSS Unity.

It was also the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including founder of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson, who was testing the private astronaut experience.

The crew took off from the company’s homeport of Spaceport America in U.S. state of New Mexico, and returned sound and safe at Spaceport America after their trip to the edge of space.

The four mission specialists on board were Richard Branson; Beth Moses, chief astronaut instructor at Virgin Galactic; Colin Bennett, lead operations engineer at Virgin Galactic; Sirisha Bandla, vice president of government affairs and research operations at Virgin Galactic. The two pilots were Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci. 

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