Virgin Galactic completes fourth spaceflight in four months

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic
Headshot of Greg Rose
by Greg Rose
8 September 2023

‘Galactic 03’ was Virgin Galactic’s fourth successful spaceflight in the past four months, and the third flight of Virgin Galactic’s inaugural commercial spaceflight season. The flight followed Virgin Galactic’s first research mission in June and first private astronaut mission in August.

Onboard ’Galactic 03’ were:

•            Astronaut 014 Ken Baxter from the US

•            Astronaut 015 Timothy Nash from South Africa

•            Astronaut 016 Adrian Reynard from the UK

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

Spaceship VSS Unity was piloted by Commander Nicola Pecile and Pilot Michael Masucci; Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses was also on board. Mothership VMS Eve was piloted by Commander Jameel Janjua and Pilot Kelly Latimer.

Here’s some in-flight facts about ‘Galactic 03’:

•            Take-off Time: 8:34 AM MDT

•            Altitude at Release: 44,867 feet

•            Apogee 55 miles

•            Top Speed 2.95 MACH

•            Landing Time 09:36 AM MDT

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said: “What a thrilling day for our three new private astronauts and the entire team at Virgin Galactic. It’s an honor to see our ‘Galactic 03’ crew realize their lifelong dreams of spaceflight as they inspire our manifest of Future Astronauts. Each successful flight shows how powerful and personally transformative space travel can be, and we look forward to scaling our operations and making space travel more accessible to people around the world.”

Virgin Galactic will now proceed with post-flight inspections and analysis in preparation for the next commercial space mission, ‘Galactic 04,’ which is planned for early October.