Title: Virgin Galactic’s Galactic 05 Mission Marks Significant Milestone in Suborbital Research Flights
In an exciting development for the space tourism industry, Virgin Galactic has announced that it will conclude its suborbital spaceflights schedule this year with an anticipated mission called Galactic 05. Scheduled to take place on November 2 from Spaceport America in New Mexico, Galactic 05 will mark the company’s fifth commercial flight and the sixth flight of its VSS Unity spaceplane in 2021.
The upcoming mission has been described as a research flight, demonstrating the potential of suborbital flights for scientific exploration. Onboard will be two renowned researchers, Alan Stern and Kellie Gerardi, along with a Franco-Italian private astronaut. Their presence highlights the growing interest in using suborbital vehicles for valuable scientific experimentation.
Alan Stern, an associate vice president of the space science division at Southwest Research Institute, will utilize this unique opportunity to evaluate a harness designed for collecting biomedical data. Additionally, he will test a mockup of an astronomical camera, promising exciting advancements in space imaging technology.
Kellie Gerardi, representing the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences, will conduct vital experiments by testing a biomonitoring device and performing a fluid dynamics experiment. Gerardi’s involvement in the mission highlights a significant partnership between IIAS and Virgin Galactic, opening new avenues for the research community to access space more easily.
Alan Stern’s selection by NASA for an upcoming research mission underscores the recognition of commercial suborbital vehicles as valuable tools in advancing scientific knowledge. This achievement also emphasizes the increasing interest from space agencies in utilizing suborbital flights for research purposes.
Virgin Galactic is keen to enhance its research capabilities, viewing suborbital research as a potentially lucrative application for its vehicles. By refining and expanding these capabilities, the company aims to solidify its position as a leader in the commercial space tourism sector.
The Galactic 05 mission will be commanded by Mike Masucci, with Kelly Latimer serving as the pilot and Colin Bennett assuming the role of in-flight astronaut instructor. Notably, this will be the last mission to carry an astronaut instructor as future missions will focus on accommodating private astronaut customers.
Looking ahead, Virgin Galactic plans to conduct its next mission, Galactic 06, in January 2022 following routine vehicle inspections. This ongoing commitment to regular and systematic maintenance ensures the safety and efficiency of the flights, further solidifying the company’s reputation as a reliable provider of suborbital journeys.
With Galactic 05’s upcoming launch, Virgin Galactic continues to make strides in promoting scientific research and exploration within the realm of suborbital spaceflights. This mission represents a significant milestone in the company’s journey towards unlocking the immense potential of commercial space travel for scientific endeavors.
Note: The word count of this news article is 394 words.
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