The Azerbaijan State News Agency

WORLD

Virgin Galactic launches VSS Unity space plane on final suborbital spaceflight with crew of 6

Virgin Galactic launches VSS Unity space plane on final suborbital spaceflight with crew of 6

Baku, June 10, AZERTAC

Virgin Galactic launched six people to suborbital space on Saturday (June 8), launching a Turkish astronaut and three space tourists on what was the final voyage of the VSS Unity space plane, according to the Space.com.

Unity, attached to the belly of its carrier plane Eve, took off from runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico at 10:31 a.m. EDT (1431 GMT) and carried to an altitude of 44,562 feet (13,582 meters) over the next hour, where it was dropped and ignited its rocket engine to carry two pilots and four passengers to space and back. The mission, called Galactic 07, reached an altitude of 54.4 miles (87.5 km) and marked the seventh commercial spaceflight by Virgin Galactic on Unity, which is being retired to make way for the company's new "Delta" class of spacecraft rolling out in 2026.

"I will need much more time to try and process what just happened," Tuva Atasever, the Turkish Space Agency astronaut on the flight, said in a post-flight press conference, adding that the view of Earth was indescribable. "It's not something you can describe with adjectives. It's an experiential thing … you just feel it in your gut."

Atasever's trip on Galactic 07 was brokered by Axiom Space, a company that also flew a Turkish astronaut to the International Space Station with SpaceX on the private Ax-3 mission earlier this year. Atasever was a backup astronaut on the Ax-3 flight and oversaw three different experiments on Galactic 07.

Joining Atasever on the Virgin Galactic flight were VSS Unity commander Nicola Pecile and pilot Jameel Janjua. Virgin Galactic pilots Andy Edgell and C.J. Sturckow, a former NASA astronaut, flew the VMS Eve carrier plane.

The VSS Unity space plane landed back at Spaceport America at 11:41 a.m. EDT (1541 GMT), marking only its seventh commercial spaceflight for Virgin Galactic and 12th crewed spaceflight overall. In all, Virgin Galactic flew the space plane just 32 times, including non-space test flights.

But Unity will fly no more. Instead, Virgin Galactic is grounding Unity's SpaceShipTwo design in favor of its new "Delta Class" of spacecraft that are designed to fly more often.

Galactic 07 was Virgin Galactic's second mission of 2024. Its first flight of the year, Galactic 06, saw the first Ukrainian woman reach (suborbital) space.

Tickets for these flights are quite the investment, typically selling for $450,000. Passengers on Virgin Galactic's spaceplane experience a few minutes of weightlessness and get to see a view of Earth that very few get to see in a lifetime.

The suborbital spaceflight will also carried research payloads from Purdue University and University of California, Berkeley. According to the company's statement, Purdue's experiment focused on the "propellant slosh in fuel tanks of maneuvering spacecraft" while U.C. Berkeley tested out a new type of 3D printing in microgravity.

Since 2018, Virgin Galactic has flown payloads as part of NASA's Flight Opportunities program and most recently was selected to be a contracted flight provider for NASA for the next five years.

Axiom Space, a Houston-based private spaceflight company, has completed three crewed trips to date to the International Space Station, and has its fourth mission, (Ax-4), targeted for October at the earliest. The company has partnered with Virgin Galactic on several previous flights.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

'Tens of thousands' of NHS patients have their names, dates of birth and private information published online by hackers who demanded £40m ransom after cyber attack on London hospitals

European Forum of Azerbaijani Engineers gets underway in Germany

Georgia waste late chance for win over Czech Repuplic

Everton sign midfielder Iroegbunam from Aston Villa

Thailand extends free insurance coverage for foreign tourists until Year-End

Azerbaijan Army positions in Kalbajar once again subjected to fire

FC Bayern mourns Thomas Wilhelmi

Baku hosts 5th meeting of the Russian-Azerbaijani Expert Council

Ancient pig-like animal shows beginnings of mammalian brain evolution

Azerbaijani wrestlers shine at BRICS Sports Games Kazan 2024

Azerbaijani tops list of best dental surgeons in Moscow

Nissan Motor cuts nearly 10% of its production capacity in China

China's commercial 'artificial sun' achieves first discharge

Two Azerbaijani swimmers earn Olympic berth

Euronews: Gamesummit 2024 places Baku on gaming industry map

Italian coast guard recovers 14 more bodies of shipwreck victims off Calabria, dozens still missing

North Korea building border ‘wall’, satellite images reveal

Foreign Language Center of Military Administration Institute holds graduation ceremony

Türkiye eyes win over Portugal to advance at Euros

5th World Nomad Games Astana 2024 to take place under UNESCO's patronage

Magnitude 3.3 quake rattles Caspian Sea

Azerbaijani female rower crowned European champion

Azerbaijani oil price exceeds $88

Oil prices down in world markets

Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan Army positions in Kalbajar subjected to fire

Azerbaijani President: Our target is to have a very sophisticated approach on using renewables

President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan is attractive not only for those who invest in fossil fuels, but also for those who invest in renewables

President Ilham Aliyev’s interview was broadcast on Euronews channel VIDEO

Netherlands vs. France showdown ends in goalless draw at EURO 2024

Austria increase last 16 hopes at EURO 2024 after 3-1 win over Poland

Ukraine seal comeback win against Slovakia 2-1 in their 1st points at EURO 2024

Ombudsman: International organizations must not remain indifferent to Armenia's mine terror

Milli Majlis adopts appeal to Azerbaijani President on scheduling of early parliamentary elections

Solar expected to generate 20% of global electricity on summer solstice

Three Azerbaijani athletes aim for 'medal rush' in Beach Wrestling World Series 2024

Malawian president appoints Michael Usi as new vice president

Moscow hosts meeting of CIS Economic Council

Young Azerbaijani weightlifter bags three European medals in Greece

Azerbaijani FM meets with outgoing Kyrgyz ambassador

From Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

Moldovan president signs decree on start of EU accession talks

SOCAR starts natural gas supplies to industrial customers in Bulgaria

State Commission: Azerbaijan handed over remains of two Armenian servicemen found in liberated territories to Armenia

Junior Azerbaijani boxers to vie for European medals in Sarajevo

Kazakh delegation visits Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s military police department

High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future” wraps up in Zangilan VIDEO

WHO announces global resurgence of cholera cases in 2024

Japan, South Korea announce sanctions over Russia-North Korea arms trade

Azerbaijan name 27 wrestlers to fight for glory at U17&U20 European Championships

Historic flooding in southern China kills 47, with more floods feared in coming days

4 people killed in helicopter crash in Russia's Amur region

Western Azerbaijan Community calls on Armenian government to create conditions for return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia

11 students of Baku Higher Oil School to undergo internship at SOCAR Türkiye

Euro 2024 - Spain 1-0 Italy: Riccardo Calafiori own goal sends Spain into last 16 as Group B winners

Assistant to President: Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia in humanitarian and educational spheres is developing successfully VIDEO

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry responds to Josep Borrell

Messi and Argentina overcome Canada and poor surface, start Copa America title defense with 2-0 win

Azerbaijan Army holds "Best anti-aircraft missile artillery battery" competition

President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva participated in opening of the new building of Institute of Botany in Baku and reviewed the developments at the Botanical Garden VIDEO

Cholera outbreak kills 21 in Nigeria's Lagos

Baku-hosted High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future” continued in Zangilan

ANAMA employee killed during demining operation in Jabrayil

® “Baku Summer-2024” tournament hosted with Kapital Bank’s support

Milli Majlis forms commission to appeal to President of Azerbaijan regarding scheduling of snap parliamentary elections

Baku Initiative Group holds international conference on colonialism in New York VIDEO

Azerbaijani oil price down in global markets

Strategic Studies and State Defense Management Academic Course’s graduation ceremony held

Oil prices rise in global markets

Release of the Press Service of the President

Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to publish new memoir unleashed: ‘Stand by for My Thoughts’

France denies departure to several individuals of Baku Initiative Group, preventing them from participating in event at United Nations

Discussions held on cooperation in implementing Azerbaijan's initiatives in addressing climate change

Second day of High-Level Meeting themed “Pathway to COP29: Sustainable and Resilient Future concludes

European Commission – Directorate General for Energy proposes to hold joint events during COP29

Two more Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers claim medals in BRICS Sports Games 2024

Azerbaijani weightlifter shines in European championships

Azerbaijani powerlifter crowned seven-time European champion

From Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Romanian president withdraws candidacy for NATO chief in support of Dutch Premier Mark Rutte’s bid

Azerbaijan joins 3rd edition of SAI20 Summit

Azerbaijan, Serbia discuss strategic partnership

Azerbaijan, Italy explore prospects for military and technical cooperation

Defense Ministry: Tactical-special exercise with radiological, chemical and biological defense units held VIDEO

India may lose 4,300 millionaires this year: Henley’s

Baku hosts opening ceremony of Non-Aligned Movement Organization’s Climate Action Forum

EU agrees new sanctions on Russia, targeting LNG for the first time

Azerbaijani rhythmic gymnasts bring home 13 medals from Italian Parma

Baku-hosted High-Level Meeting features panel session on “The special case of Food and Agriculture Sector” VIDEO

bp pioneers use of drones in its operations in Caspian Sea

105-year-old walks at graduation to receive master's degree from Stanford

Two Azerbaijani Para powerlifters ready for action in World Cup 2024

Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers claim three medals in BRICS Sports Games 2024

Fourteen Azerbaijani chess players aim for 'medal rush' in FIDE World Cup 2024

‘Azerbaijan’s successful chairmanship of Non-Aligned Movement inspired us to be host of COP29’ VIDEO

Most wanted terrorist among 5 PKK members eliminated in Türkiye

A massive black hole may be 'waking up' in a nearby galaxy

BHOS students become winners of US State Department’s program

Azerbaijani Para swimmer to compete in Paris-2024

Mukhtar Babayev: We should enhance ambition with clear plans to build a climate resilient world

On World Refugee Day, ICESCO calls for greater solidarity and humanitarian efforts to preserve refugees’ dignity