Second commercial launch of Virgin Galactic will take place on August 10

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Virgin Galactic to send six people into suborbital space

The launch, dubbed Galactic 02, is scheduled to take place on August 10 from Spaceport America in New Mexico. This will be the company’s second commercial space flight after a successful June 29 mission for the Air Force and the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy.

The flight will be attended by a mixed crew of people who do not have a professional attitude to space, and experienced pilots.

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

Astronaut 011 is 80-year-old Briton John Goodwin, a former professional athlete. He competed in canoeing at the 1972 XX Summer Olympics. Goodwin has Parkinson’s disease, he will become the second person with this diagnosis to visit space.

When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, Goodwin said he was determined not to let the disease stop him from living a full life: “I hope this will inspire anyone facing adversity and show them that adversity should not hinder or stop them.” on the way to a dream”.

Astronauts 012 and 013 – Keisha Shahaff and Anastasia Myers. Mother and daughter from the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. 18-year-old student Myers will become the second youngest person to travel to space. The first was Oliver Damen, who was also 18 years old when he flew the Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital vehicle in July 2021. Shahaff and Myers have won their seats in a 2021 lottery run by Virgin Galactic and charity platform Omaze. The collected money was sent to the non-profit organization Space for Humanity.

“When I was two years old, I looked at the sky and thought: how to get there? But as a native of the Caribbean, I had no idea that this was possible. The fact that a man from Antigua went into space shows that space is indeed becoming more accessible,” Shahaff said.

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The Galactic 02 crew will be accompanied by three Virgin Galactic employees.

Second commercial launch of Virgin Galactic will take place on August 10

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

Chief Cosmonaut Instructor – Beth Moses. She became the first woman to be in space as a flight crew member on the 2019 VSS Unity flight. Prior to that, she was responsible for extravehicular activities of astronauts at NASA. Moses will be in the cockpit of the VSS Unity spaceplane along with Goodwin, Shahuff and Myers. 

VSS Unity will be operated and piloted by CJ Starkow (Captain) and Kelly Latimer (Pilot). 

Starkow took part in Virgin Galactic’s first spaceflight in December 2018. Before joining the Virgin Galactic team, he made four flights to the International Space Station as a NASA astronaut. August 10 will be his sixth flight into space.

During her 20 years of service in the US Air Force, Latimer flew more than 90 sorties. She retired from the Air Force in 2007 and became the first female tester at NASA’s Flight Research Center. In 2015, Latimer joined Virgin Galactic as the first female test pilot. She piloted the VMS Eve carrier aircraft, and was also a member of the crew of the Unity 22 mission, in which Virgin Group founder Richard Branson was a passenger.

Italian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Nicola Pecile will command the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, with Mike Masucci piloting it. Both have extensive experience in aviation, and Masucci has traveled to space three times on missions to Virgin Galactic.

Unity will take off under the wing of the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft and undock at an altitude of about 15 kilometers. Unity will then fire up an onboard rocket engine to lift into suborbital space.

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