The historic flight also marks a first for human spaceflight at New Mexico
Together with WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft VMS Eve, VSS Unity ascended to an altitude of 50,000 feet before a 9:26 a.m. MDT drop that delivered VSS Unity rocketing upward into space.
The crewed mission was piloted by Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci aboard VMS Eve and CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay on VSS Unity.
The business tweeted at 8:35 a.m. MDT that VMS Eve and VSS Unity had taken to the heavens, kicking off a more-than-hour-long journey.
Roughly 10 minutes from launch, VSS Unity switched to its own battery power for avionics and management systems, conducted system and flight tests and readied the rocket motor system.
VSS Unity has successfully separated from VMS Eve,” the company tweeted at 9:27 a.m. MDT, since the rocket made its way from its apogee.
At 9:31 a.m. MDT, VSS Unity had attained distance.
The rocket was carrying both human operators and research payloads in partnership with NASA’s Flight Opportunities program.
At 9:33 a.m. MDT Virgin Galactic tweeted VSS Unity had started its nominal descent back to Earth, touching down 10 minutes afterwards.
Within an Instagram narrative and Twitter article, Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson could be seen cheering with a group of others watching in the flightline.
“Delighted to be on the flightline to watch @VirginGalactic’s first human spaceflight from the majestic Spaceport America @Spaceport_NM #UNITY21,” he wrote.
VMS Eve touched down at Spaceport America in 10:24 a.m. MDT.
“VMS Eve has landed safely. Thanks to our pilots Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci for flying the mothership today and their vital part in helping VSS Unity complete today’s spaceflight,” Virgin Galactic tweeted.
Saturday marked Virgin Galactic’s second effort to reach distance from New Mexico.
In December, an evaluation flight was ineffective because of technical problems , including high levels of electromagnetic interference.
In a press launch before the initial human space launch in New Mexico, the company noticed that a key objective of the flight would be to test the job done on VSS Unity since last year and incorporate”all original test objectives, including assessment of the upgraded horizontal stabilizers and flight controllers during the growth phase of the flight, evaluating elements of the client cabin and testing the live flow capacity from the spaceship to the floor.”
The organization, which expects to begin commercial service to customers next year, has sold seats onboard its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane to get thousands and thousands of dollars and Space.com reported last year the company had more than 600 reservations.
Especially, the fourth spaceflight is scheduled to carry members of the Italian Air Force for Virgin Galactic’s first”full earnings flight,” generating $2 million.
Branson is also expected to fly to space too in an upcoming flight.