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VIRGIN GALACTIC “UNITY 25” SPACEFLIGHT, May 25, 2023, New Mexico, 10:00 am ET

Update, May 25: The company decided not to livestream this flight. Instead, one must wait for tweets.

However, NASASpaceflight.com, a commercial website about space activities that is not affiliated with NASA or Virgin Galatic, is providing its own livestream of what it can see.

Original Entry: Virgin Galactic said today (May 17, 2023) that it is “go” for the next crewed spaceflight of its SpaceShipTwo system, the first in almost two years, with the window opening on May 25 at 8:00 am Mountain Time (10:00 am Eastern).

The air-launched SpaceShipTwo system takes off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The VSS Unity spaceship is carried aloft attached to the VMS Eve aircraft. The two separate at about 45,000 feet, the spaceship fires its rocket engine and ascends to an altitude just above 80 kilometers (62 miles), which the FAA and Virgin Galactic use as the demarcation between air and space. (Others, including competitor Blue Origin, use the international standard of 100 km/80 miles). VMS Unity then glides down to land back at Spaceport America. The entire trip takes about 1.5 hours, most of which is getting up to the drop-off point. Only a few minutes are in space.

This flight will be designated Unity 25 and will be the fifth SpaceShipTwo flight to reach space if everything goes as planned.

The company’s last flight to space with a crew, Unity 22, was on July 11, 2021 when company founder Richard Branson was one of the six people aboard. All were company employees that time, too. Virgin Galactic hopes the first commercial spaceflight will take place in June 2023.

Details

Date:
May 25
Time:
10:00 am - 11:00 pm