On Saturday, Virgin Galactic completed its first successful space flight in more than two years.
“It was picture perfect,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier told The Verge after the flight was completed. “We’re gonna go through the data deeply and thoroughly as we always do.” In a statement, Colglazier called the flight a “major step forward for both Virgin Galactic and human spaceflight in New Mexico,” which had never hosted a crewed test mission to space until today.
The crewed VSS Unity spacecraft attained an altitude of over 44,000 feet before safely returning to Earth.
At around 10:35 a.m. EDT, Virgin’s VMS Eve carrier launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico, followed by the launch of Unity after it had switched to its own battery power and completed flight control and electrical tests.
The United States considers pilots who have flown above 80 kilometers to be astronauts.
The travel on Saturday is the next move towards Virgin Galactic’s goal of developing a space tourism programme.
The firm has taken over 600 reservations for $250,000 space travel seats.
The flight was the first from New Mexico, which is currently the seventh state in the United States to send humans into orbit.
The mission also included test payloads for NASA’s Flight Opportunities programme.