Virgin Galactic announces Galactic 01 crew onboard the first commercial spaceflight

Virgin Galactic's Galactic 01 space mission crew
Virgin Galactic
Head shot of Tania Steere.  She is smiling, with long, wavy blonde hair
by Tania Steere
26 June 2023

Virgin Galactic has announced the crew who will be onboard for the first commercial spaceflight Galactic 01.

The three-person crew are from the Italian Air Force and National Research Council of Italy and will board VSS Unity for a 90-minute flight to conduct a series of suborbital science experiments. The target flight date is June 29, 2023, and Virgin Galactic will share a global livestream of the spaceflight, available to watch on

Virgin Galactic - Galactic 01 Crew

VSS Unity’s cabin will be transformed into a suborbital science lab to provide the environment for rack mounted payloads and for the crew to interact with wearable payloads. This historic mission is Virgin Galactic’s first commercial spaceflight and represents a new era in government funded commercial human-tended research missions.

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said:

Galactic 01 is our first commercial spaceflight, and we’re honored to have been selected by the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council to support their first space research mission, ‘Virtute 1’. Virgin Galactic’s research missions will usher in a new era of repeatable and reliable access to space for government and research institutions for years to come.

The mission objectives for the flight are to:

  • Conduct 13 human-tended and autonomous experiments which examine biomedicine thermo-fluid dynamics, and the development of innovative and sustainable materials in microgravity conditions. Read about all 13 experiments onboard here.

  • Collect data through wearable payloads and sensors, and by autonomous payloads mounted in the cabin on Virgin Galactic’s payload rack system.

The crew onboard include:

  • Col. Walter Villadei, Italian Air Force

  • Lt. Col Angelo Landolfi, Physician, Italian Air Force

  • Pantaleone Carlucci, Engineer, National Research Council of Italy

  • Colin Bennett, Astronaut Instructor, Virgin Galactic

VSS Unity will be piloted by Mike Masucci and Nicola Pecile, with VMS Eve piloted by Kelly Latimer and Jameel Janjua.

You can learn more about the mission objectives, crew and the pilots over at Virgin Galactic.

Head over to VirginGalactic to watch the global livestream of the spaceflight.