ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.-- Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) today announced the ‘Galactic 05’ flight window will open November 2, 2023. This would be the Company’s sixth spaceflight this year and tenth to date. The ‘Galactic 05’ mission would once again see Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship converted into a suborbital space lab for space-based research. This research mission reaffirms Virgin Galactic’s commitment to providing unprecedented access to space by reducing the historical barriers of time and cost associated with innovative microgravity and space-based research.
The dynamic crew of the ‘Galactic 05’ mission will include:
Astronaut 020 - Dr. Alan Stern, U.S. Planetary Scientist and Associate Vice President in Southwest Research Institute’s (SwRI) Space Sector
Astronaut 021 - Kellie Gerardi, U.S. Payload Specialist and Bioastronautics Researcher for the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS)
Astronaut 022 - Private Astronaut – Franco-Italian nationality
‘Galactic 05’ is set to become Galactic’s sixth space research mission and its second this year. Alan and Kellie are experienced researchers who plan to conduct human-tended research during the suborbital spaceflight. As a former NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Alan is a long-time advocate for commercial suborbital research platforms. Sponsored by SwRI, Alan’s mission is planned to be a training flight for a future suborbital spaceflight as part of the NASA’s Flight Opportunities program. During ‘Galactic 05’, Alan will fly a biomedical harness to collect physiological data related to human spaceflight and conduct practice activities for an astronomical experiment on the NASA flight.
Kellie, sponsored by IIAS, plans to fly three payloads, two of which will evaluate novel healthcare technologies in microgravity conditions through the collection of biometric data with the Astroskin biomonitoring device, and examine how confined fluid behaves to inform future healthcare technologies in space. Her research has been developed through extensive reduced gravity flight campaigns with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and would now be advanced through a suborbital flight.
Read the ‘Galactic 05’ research overview here.
Learn more about the 'Galactic 05' payloads here.
The Virgin Galactic crew includes VSS Unity Commander Mike Masucci and Pilot Kelly Latimer, VMS Eve Commander Jameel Janjua and Pilot Andy Edgell, and Astronaut Instructor Colin Bennett. Colin’s work on ‘Galactic 05’ will complete the in-flight Astronaut Instructor training assessments, and the fourth cabin seat on VSS Unity will be used for additional revenue generation on future flights.
The ‘Galactic 06’ mission is expected to take place in January 2024 to allow time for routine, planned annual vehicle inspections before re-commencing with standard pre-flight readiness procedures. The ‘Galactic 06’ mission will be planned to carry four private astronauts to space.
Stay tuned to Virgin Galactic’s social channels for further updates.
About Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic is an aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles. It has developed a spaceflight system designed to connect the world to the love, wonder and awe created by space travel and to offer customers a transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.com/.
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