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Virgin Galactic has reached another milestone in their fight test program. The VSS Unity spacecraft carried a third crew member on board, in its fifth rocket-powered test flight. It was the second time that the spacecraft reached space.
Virgin Galactic is developing the VSS Unity space flight system. Their goal is to make private spaceflight obtainable for people with the means to pay for it. The Unity system consists of WhiteKnightTwo, the custom carrier aircraft, and the spaceship itself, SpaceShipTwo. SpaceShipTwo is the first private, passenger-carrying spaceship in the world.
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“Beth, Sooch and I just enjoyed a pretty amazing flight which was beyond anything any of us has ever experienced.”
Chief Pilot Dave Mackay.
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VSS Unity carried three people during this flight. Onboard were Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, co-pilot Michael “Sooch” Masucci, and Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s Chief Astronaut Instructor. The three are the 569th, 570th, and 571st people in space. Moses was also the first woman to fly in a commercial space vehicle.
The three people in the crew spent several weightless minutes aboard the spacecraft, as the pilots prepared for the Mach 2.7 re-entry. Moses was aboard to conduct a live evaluation of the spacecraft’s cabin dynamics. She floated free in the cabin in order to validate cabin sensor readings taken during previous flights.
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Virgin Galactic Makes Space for Second Time in Ten Weeks with Three On Board. Image Credit: Virgin Galactic.
The flight featured several “firsts” mostly related to commercial spaceflight. The flight was:
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the first time that a non-pilot flew on board a commercial spaceship to space.
the first time that a crew member floated freely without restraints in weightlessness in space onboard a commercial spaceship.
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the first time that three people flew to space on a commercial spaceship.
the first Scottish-born astronaut, Dave Mackay.
Beth - Sooch - Flight
“Beth, Sooch and I just enjoyed a pretty amazing flight which was beyond...
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