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Virgin Galactic Completes Fourth Commercial Mission

Virgin Galactic has completed its fourth commercial mission, continuing its monthly commercial suborbital spaceflights mission.

  • VMS Eve Took Off From Spaceport America at 11:28am ET
  • VSS Unity Released from VMS Eve at 12:10pm ET
  • VSS Unity Reached An Apogee of 87.5km
Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Sun Oct 08 2023Written by Zac Aubert

Virgin Galactic has completed its fourth commercial mission, continuing its monthly commercial suborbital spaceflights mission.

Galactic 04 made history by carrying the first person from Pakistan to go to space; another milestone for the private space tourism company as it steadily progresses toward fulfilling its vision of providing space experiences to paying customers.

The mission saw Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity, take off from the scenic Spaceport America, attached to its mothership VMS Eve, at precisely 11:28 am ET.

After a smooth ascent, VSS Unity was released from its carrier plane at 12:10 pm ET, embarking on a journey that took it to an apogee of 87.5 kilometers before gracefully gliding back to a runway landing at the same spaceport.

This was the second flight conducted with an element of secrecy, as there was no live broadcast provided by Virgin Galactic, keeping the world eagerly waiting for post-flight updates on social media. Even the updates themselves were not immediate, with one post announcing the ignition of the vehicle's hybrid rocket motor appearing at least 12 minutes after ignition, based on the timestamps in the images shared with the post.

Onboard VSS Unity were three intrepid customers, each with their own unique background and motivation for joining this extraordinary adventure.

Ron Rosano - an American known for his involvement in space education and his work with a property management company.

Treavor Beattie - a British advertising executive and film producer, stood out for his spontaneous decision to book a Virgin Galactic flight after accompanying company founder Richard Branson on a SpaceShipOne flight back in 2004.

Namira Salim - an adventurer and entrepreneur originally from Pakistan, now residing in Monaco and Dubai, became the first person from Pakistan to venture into space.

The flight was under the command of Kelly Latimer, with CJ Sturckow serving as the pilot. Adding to the uniqueness of the experience, Beth Moses, the company's chief astronaut instructor, accompanied the customers in the cabin, a tradition maintained from Virgin Galactic's previous commercial flights.

This mission marked the fourth spaceflight for VSS Unity since the company commenced commercial service in late June.

Virgin Galactic has committed to maintaining a monthly flight cadence in the foreseeable future as it gradually works through a substantial backlog of approximately 800 customers. Some of these enthusiastic individuals have been waiting for their space adventure for over 15 years, having placed deposits for their tickets well in advance.

VSS Unity will now be prepared for its next flight, Galactic 05; although a specific date for this upcoming mission was not disclosed it is expect to take place in November 2023