Virgin Galactic, a space tourism firm founded by Sir Richard Branson, promises to launch its first commercial flight before the month is out.
The company plans to launch the Galactic 01 mission throughout the period from June 27 to June 30.
Virgin Galactic shares increased by more than 40% in prolonged New York trading following the announcement to investors.
Months after a flight went wrong, the UK billionaire’s separate space company, Virgin Orbit, shut operations in May.
Three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the Italian National Research Council will be on board the first trip, according to Virgin Galactic, who stated it will be a scientific research mission. They will be doing microgravity research.
The business announced that its second commercial spaceflight would follow in early August and that starting then, it would conduct monthly spaceflights.
It represents a significant accomplishment for the 19-year-old Virgin Galactic, which has had to overcome numerous mishaps and technical difficulties.
After a break of nearly two years, Virgin Galactic’s rocket plane, Unity, was back in operation last month.
The vehicle, which had two pilots and four passengers on board, travelled to the edge of space over the desert of New Mexico in the United States before gliding back to Earth.
It was advertised as the last test flight for the vehicle before it entered commercial operation.
For those who desire to travel more than 80 kilometers (260,000 feet) above Earth, Virgin Galactic has sold more than 800 seats.
The flights are intended to provide views of Earth from space at the peak of their ascent and provide passengers a brief opportunity to experience weightlessness. Each one of them costs $450,000 (£352,170).
While Virgin Galactic focuses on space travel, Sir Richard also wanted to use his rocket business, Virgin Orbit, to carry out satellite launches.
Virgin Orbit, however, was forced to close in May following the failure of a mission that had been hailed as a potential turning point in UK space exploration.
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The company, which was created to launch satellites, had to halt operations earlier this year in an effort to improve its financial situation. The Virgin CEO has experienced a turbulent time.
Most of Virgin Orbit’s California headquarters and its converted plane, Cosmic Girl, have been sold off. After lockdowns impacted his aviation and leisure businesses, Sir Richard told the BBC in May that he had personally lost almost £1.5 billion (£1.9 billion) during the pandemic.
He recalled, “There was a time I thought we were going to lose everything.” Nevertheless, he has maintained his billionaire status; according to the most recent Sunday Times Rich List, he is worth £2.4 billion.
This is an exciting time when humanity is being given a chance for touring space, and witness the magnificence lying in outer space. Stay tuned to learn more about the space flights and your chances of getting on one.