Virgin Galactic announced that May 25 will mark the opening for its Unity 25 mission, and Spaceport America, located in New Mexico, will serve as its launch site, according to a press release from the aerospace company.
The VSS Unity involved in the mission will be fully crewed by four crew members and a pair of pilots.
Two other pilots will operate the VMS Eve, which brings the spacecraft to a certain altitude before separation for Unity’s further flight.
With the upcoming flight, Virgin Galactic aims to “make a final assessment of the full spaceflight and astronaut experience before commercial service begins in late June,” the press release from the spaceflight company said.
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Training for the suborbital mission is scheduled to begin Monday.
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Earlier this month, Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier indicated the Unity 25 flight would take place in late May while releasing first-quarter financial results. He called it the company’s “return to space” in the earnings call with analysts and investors.
Virgin Galactic reported plans for its first commercial Galactic 01 mission were still “on track” for the second quarter.
“Our first commercial flight Galactic 01 is planned for late June and will be a scientific research flight with members of the Italian Air Force,” Colglazier said in early May. “We plan to follow Galactic 01 with both civilian astronaut and research customers flying on regular intervals thereafter.”
The company’s efforts have faced delays due to upgrades and other factors, FOX Business previously reported.
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Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic and participated in a test flight in 2021, also publicized the newly announced launch window for Unity 25.
Prior to revealing the window, the aerospace company had put the VSS Unity through a “glide flight” in late April to collect data. At the time, Mike Moses, president off spaceline missions and safety, said the information from the test would “clear the way for our return to space and, ultimately, lead to the launch of commercial service.”
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