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Virgin Galactic's First $450K-a-Ticket Commercial Spaceflight Lifts Off This Month; All You Need To Know

The highly anticipated mission, called "Galactic 01," will carry three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy for a scientific research expedition.
Cover Image Source: Twitter/@virgingalactic
Cover Image Source: Twitter/@virgingalactic

Virgin Galactic, billionaire Richard Branson's space company, is set to make history as its first-ever commercial spaceflight lifts off later this month. The highly anticipated mission, called "Galactic 01", will carry three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy for a scientific research expedition.

This marks a significant step in the development of commercial space travel as Virgin Galactic aims to demonstrate the unique suborbital science capabilities of their spacecraft.

According to, passengers onboard will reach a staggering altitude of 300,000 feet, or more than 55 miles above the Earth's surface. The voyage begins with a carrier plane called VMS Eve, which carries a six-passenger, two-pilot space plane named VSS Unity. After ascending to an altitude of 50,000 feet, VMS Eve releases VSS Unity, which then ignites its rockets and accelerates to three times the speed of sound, propelling itself into sub-orbit.


Once in space, passengers will have the incredible opportunity to unbuckle and float freely in a weightless environment for several minutes. They will also be able to marvel at the breathtaking views of Earth through the 17 windows of the spacecraft. After this, the spacecraft will glide back to Earth and make an unpowered runway landing.

Spaceport America: The Gateway to the Stars

These groundbreaking missions will launch from Spaceport America, located in New Mexico, which serves as Virgin Galactic's commercial hub. This state-of-the-art spaceport has been specifically designed to facilitate commercial space travel and will be the launch site for future Virgin Galactic flights.

Image Source: GettyImages/Daniel Berehulak
Image Source: GettyImages/Daniel Berehulak

The Price of a Dream

While this extraordinary journey comes at a considerable cost, with a ticket price of $450,000, the demand for this once-in-a-lifetime experience is high. Several hundred customers have already reserved their seats by making the initial deposit of $150,000. Prior to the launch, passengers must undergo medical checkups and complete a detailed questionnaire to ensure their suitability for the spaceflight.

Image Source: GettyImages/David Lienemann
Image Source: GettyImages/David Lienemann

Passengers also have the option to undergo weeks of training to enhance their readiness for the journey. This training encompasses various aspects such as weightlessness preparation, G-Force readiness, emergency procedures, and sensory saturation. By providing this comprehensive training program, Virgin Galactic aims to ensure the safety and comfort of its passengers during their space adventure.


Virgin Galactic's upcoming commercial spaceflight is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. The company has been diligently working for over a decade to realize its vision of offering commercial space travel to the public. In 2021, Virgin Galactic received federal approval for its operations, paving the way for the realization of their ambitious goals. The successful completion of this mission will mark a significant milestone in the commercial space industry.


Looking Ahead

Following the debut mission, Virgin Galactic has already scheduled a second launch, "Galactic 02," for August. The company plans to ramp up its operations and aims to conduct approximately 400 flights per year from Spaceport America. In pursuit of this goal, Virgin Galactic is building its next class of rocket-powered planes at a facility in Arizona.