After almost two decades of ups and downs, Virgin Galactic sent its first customers to the edge of space aboard its VSS Unity rocket plane.
Today’s 72-minute-long Galactic 01 flight, which took three Italians on a suborbital research mission, marked the start of the company’s commercial operations at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Two of the fliers, Col. Walter Villadei and Lt. Col. Angelo Landolfi, are officers in the Italian Air Force. The third Italian, Pantaleone Carlucci, is an engineer at the National Research Council of Italy. The crew brought along 13 research payloads, focusing on biomedicine, thermo-fluid dynamics and materials science.