Virgin Galactic rocket plane enters commercial service

It’s taken nearly 20 years, but Sir Richard Branson has finally begun commercial space flights with his Virgin Galactic rocket ship, Unity

On 29th. June 2023, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic successfully launched its first commercial flight to the edge of space. The flight was carried out by the company’s SpaceShip Two space plane Unity with a special passenger on board: the company’s billionaire founder Richard Branson. Branson was accompanied by three crewmates and two pilots on the historic flight.

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic 1

The flight took off from New Mexico in the US after being carried into launch position by Virgin Galactic’s carrier plane, Eve. The rocket ship reached an altitude of 53.5 miles above Earth’s surface before gliding back down to land at Spaceport America .

The vehicle flew high over the New Mexico desert on Thursday to enable three Italian astronauts to conduct science experiments in weightless conditions. Sir Richard will now begin sending up the 800 or so space flight customers who’ve bought tickets to ride on Unity.

72 minute mission

The 72-minute mission took off from Spaceport America at 08:30 local time (14:30 GMT) and was livestreamed around the world.

Just under an hour into the mission, after reaching an altitude of 13,600m (44,500ft), the carrier plane, Eve, then released Unity to ignite its engine and boost up to the edge of space. At the top of its climb, the rocket ship was at an altitude of 279,00ft (85km), touching the edge of space.


This successful launch marks a major milestone for Virgin Galactic and the space tourism industry as a whole. With this achievement, Virgin Galactic has joined a small club of companies that can ferry paying customers to space, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has made history with its successful rocket ship launch on June 29th, 2023. This achievement marks a significant milestone for the space tourism industry and opens up new possibilities for commercial space travel in the future.

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