Virgin Galactic held its 1st commercial mission this Thursday (29). The VSS Unity spacecraft flew alone for about 15 minutes and then returned to Spaceport America, a space airport in New Mexico, in the United States.
The takeoff took place around 11:30 am (Brasília time), with the spacecraft coupled to the VMS Eve, as the aircraft carrier is known. They stayed together until they reached an altitude of about 14 kilometers.
Then, at approximately 12:30 pm, the spacecraft with the passengers uncoupled and then continued the flight alone until reaching an altitude of around 85 kilometers.
The Galactic 01 mission carried members of the Italian Air Force and the Italian National Research Council. The objective was to carry out experiments on microgravity, which can be felt during part of the flight – find out more about the mission.
The trip is the beginning of a new stage for Virgin Galactic. The space tourism company made a suborbital flight in 2021 with billionaire Richard Branson, owner of the brand, and now must serve customers who have already paid to fly into space.
A second commercial mission is scheduled for August, after which the company plans to fly tourists into space every month.
The price of this trip was not revealed, but in November 2021, the company started selling tickets for US$ 450,000 (about R$ 2 million).