Virgin Galactic completes 11th successful spaceflight

Virgin Galactic astronauts on-board the Galactic 06 spaceflight
Virgin Galactic
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
26 January 2024

Virgin Galactic has completed its first spaceflight of 2024 – its 11th mission to date. Today’s Galactic 06 flight marked the first time all four seats aboard VSS Unity were occupied by private astronauts.

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said: “Today the incredible team at Virgin Galactic supported another successful mission and delivered an unforgettable experience for four new astronauts. The success of Galactic 06 and the Company’s other commercial spaceflights in recent months only increases our confidence in the repeatability of our product and our ability to deliver a superlative experience to our customers. With the production of our next-generation Delta-class ships underway, we look forward to expanding our flight capacity with testing expected to start next year and commercial service in 2026.”

Onboard Galactic 06 were:

  • Astronaut 023 – Ukrainian Lina Borozdina, who is resident in Nevada, USA, and the first Ukrainian woman to fly to space

  • Astronaut 024 – Robie Vaughn from Texas, USA

  • Astronaut 025 – Franz Haider from Austria, becoming the second person to fly to space from that country

  • Astronaut 026 – Neil Kornswiet from California, USA

Virgin Galactic's Galactic 06 crew
Virgin Galactic

The launch was watched from the ground at Spaceport America by more than 150 guests alongside Virgin Galactic’s team. VSS Unity was commanded by C J Sturckow, with pilot Nicola Pecile. Michael Masucci commended mothership VMS Eve, joined by pilot Dan Alix.

Galactic 06 in-flight facts:

  • Take-off time: 10:00 am MT

  • Altitude at release: 44,493 ft

  • Apogee: 55.2 miles

  • Top speed: 2.98 Mach

  • Landing time: 10:56am MT

Virgin Galactic’s next mission, expected in the second quarter of 2024, will include both a researcher and private astronauts. Head to Virgin Galactic to learn more.