Flying to space on Virgin Galactic’s next test flight

Virgin Galactic crew
Virgin Galactic
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 1 July 2021

I am so proud and excited to be flying to space on Virgin Galactic’s next rocket-powered test flight.

It’s one thing to have a dream of making space more accessible to all; it’s another for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality. As part of a remarkable crew of mission specialists, I’m honoured to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin.

Along with pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci flying VSS Unity, and CJ Sturckow and Kelly Latimer flying VMS Eve, I’ll be joined by mission crew specialists Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor; Colin Bennett, Lead Operations Engineer; and Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations. They helped build this unique program, along with the entire team.

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

After a successful flight in late May and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for a Full Commercial Launch Licence, the pathway towards commercial launch is clear. Virgin Galactic still has tests to come, and this is the time for me to assess the astronaut experience.

I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After 17 years of research, engineering and innovation, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry poised to open the universe to humankind and change the world for good.

I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11th, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality aboard the next Virgin Galactic spaceflight, in the company of this brilliant crew of mission specialists.

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

For the first time, Virgin Galactic will share a global livestream of the spaceflight. Head over to Virgin Galactic to join us as we welcome the next era of space travel.

When we return, I will announce something very exciting to give more people the chance to become an astronaut. Because space belongs to us all. So watch this space…