"I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11th, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality and we're really excited to share that moment with you all" Richard Branson stated.
Virgin Galactic has announced that the second rocket-powered test flight of its SpaceShipTwo Unity will take place on July 11.
The “Unity 22” mission will be the Company's fourth crewed spaceflight and the twenty-second flight test for VSS Unity. It will also be the first to transport a full crew in the cabin, including Sir Richard Branson, the company's founder, who will be testing the private astronaut experience. It will also be the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin.
The flight’s four mission specialists will be:
Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor at Virgin Galactic. Moses will serve as cabin lead and test director in space, overseeing the safe and efficient execution of the test flight objectives.
Colin Bennett, Lead Operations Engineer at Virgin Galactic. Bennett will evaluate cabin equipment, procedures, and experience during both the boost phase and in the weightless environment.
Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations at Virgin Galactic. Bandla will be evaluating the human-tended research experience, using an experiment from the University of Florida that requires several handheld fixation tubes that will be activated at various points in the flight profile.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. Branson will evaluate the private astronaut experience and will undergo the same training, preparation, and flight as Virgin Galactic’s future astronauts. The Company will use its observations from its flight training and spaceflight experience to enhance the journey for all future astronaut customers.
Virgin Galactic will broadcast the spaceflight live to the whole world for the first time. Virtual participants from all around the world are welcome to take part in the Unity 22 test flight and see firsthand everything Virgin Galactic is building for future astronauts. The webcast will be available on Virgin Galactic.com and will be broadcast on Virgin Galactic Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channels. It is expected to begin at 7:00 am MDT / 9:00 am EDT on the day of the flight.
Many safety event descriptions are particular to stages of flight, therefore it's critical to identify them. as well as a mishap during the launch phase The airspeed and RPM must be monitored closely by the pilot.
Following this flight, and in line with normal procedures, the team will complete inspections of the vehicles and an extensive data review, which will inform the next steps in the test flight program. Two additional test flights are planned before the Company expects to commence commercial service in 2022.
Mothership aircraft carries the spaceship and its crew to launch altitude where the air is thin and on the cusp of a life-changing experience.
Seconds after the spaceship's release from its carrier aircraft, the hybrid rocket motor, behind the cabin, fires up around six seconds later. You pass through the sound barrier outside the large windows, the sky changes from blue, to purple and finally black, as you leave the atmosphere.
As the rocket motor shuts down, your cabin is transformed from rocket ship into a unique spacious zone for the exploration of weightlessness, and a silent viewing platform for the greatest show off-earth!
Our early astronauts are pioneers of the new space age, helping transform access to space for everyone.
They're really excited to share that moment with all of you and when they return, they will announce something very exciting to give more people the chance to become astronauts because space does belong to us all.
Join them on July 11th for their first fully crewed rocket-powered test flight, and the beginning of a new space age. The countdown begins.
Source: Virgin Galactic