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Virgin Galactic conducts first suborbital spaceflight since 2021
Posted: Sat, May 27, 2023, 10:56 AM ET (1456 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo on Unity 25 flight, May 2023 (Virgin Galactic) Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo made its first suborbital spaceflight in nearly two years Thursday. The vehicle, named VSS Unity, launched from its VMS Eve carrier aircraft at 12:23 pm EDT (1623 GMT), reaching a peak altitude of 87.2 kilometers before gliding back to a runway landing at Spaceport America in New Mexico. There were two pilots and four company mission specialists on the flight, the first to go to space since a July 2021 mission that carried company founder Richard Branson. Unlike other commercial spaceflight companies, Virgin Galactic did not webcast the launch, providing only a trickle of social media text updates. This was the last test flight planned for SpaceShipTwo before beginning commercial service with a flight for the Italian Air Force scheduled for as soon as late June.
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