Virgin Galactic announces flight window for first fully crewed spaceflight
SANTA FE – The future of space tourism is scheduled to take flight in Southern New Mexico on Sunday, July 11, when the New Mexico Tourism Department teams up with Virgin Galactic for Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed spaceflight, Virgin Galactic announced Thursday afternoon.
New Mexico True will serve as the presenting partner for the “Unity 22” mission, the twenty-second flight test for VSS Unity. It will be the first flight to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson, who will be testing the private astronaut experience.
The spaceflight will be livestreamed to a global audience and will prominently feature New Mexico True throughout the experience. The livestream will be available to watch on VirginGalactic.com and will be simulcast on the Virgin Galactic Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channels. The spaceflight is expected to begin at 7:00 a.m. MST.
“We couldn’t be more excited to finally share this groundbreaking moment with the world,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “New Mexico has always been a hub for exploration, and the dawn of space tourism is happening right here.”
“An entirely new era for tourism begins here in New Mexico,” Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “We’re excited to share New Mexico’s rich history of space and science, along with our vast open spaces and dark skies with the world.”
“This is a huge moment for Spaceport America and for New Mexico. By investing in the aerospace industry, New Mexico continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversifying its economy,” Economic Development Secretary Alicia Keyes said.
According to industry estimates, the suborbital space tourism market could be worth $8 billion by 2030.