Virgin Galactic is prepping for tomorrow’s Unity 22 flight (the twenty-second flight test of the VSS Unity) that will launch Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group founder), three staff members (Beth Moses, Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandla), and two pilots (Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci) into space on the VSS Unity spaceship. It will be carried by Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnight aircraft launching from Spaceport America (Sierra County, NM).
The VMS Eve WhiteKnight aircraft will take the spaceship to the desired height where it will detach, allowing VSS Unity’s rocket-powered engine to take it to the final height where the crew will experience zero-gravity for a brief moment of time. It will eventually come back down to the same airport to conclude the trip.
They will be evaluating various experiences, including the cabin environment, seat comfort, the weightless experience, conditions for conducting human-tended research experiments, and the views of Earth that the spaceship delivers during flight.
Eventually, the ultimate goal is to create a commercial outlet for space tourism, although it will be a while before it becomes affordable to the general public. Forbes had stated that Virgin Galactic already has 600 seats pre-sold and waiting, each weighing in at around $250K per ticket. The company has two more test flights after this before they plan to open commercial operations next year.
You can catch the entire event tomorrow (Sunday, July 11th) starting at 6AM PT (9AM ET) on YouTube here (as well as on Twitter, and Facebook). It will be hosted by Stephen Colbert with a performance by Khalid.
We have also included the live stream here: