Space Fans Rejoice: Virgin Galactic’s Seventh Commercial Spaceflight Ready for Lift-off on June 8

Spaceport America in southwestern New Mexico is abuzz with anticipation for the upcoming launch of Virgin Galactic’s seventh commercial spaceflight. Scheduled for liftoff on June 8, the Galactic 07 mission marks the second spaceflight for the company in 2024.

The crew for Galactic 07 includes Axiom Space Mission 3 backup astronaut Tuva Atasever from the Turkish Space Agency and three private astronauts whose identities have not been disclosed. With tickets typically priced at $450,000, passengers aboard Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane will experience moments of weightlessness and witness a breathtaking view of Earth.

Commander Nicola Pecile and pilot Jameel Janjua will lead VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space plane, while Commander Andy Edgell and pilot C.J. Sturckow will pilot VMS Eve, the aircraft that carries Unity to high altitudes before release. Research payloads from Purdue University and the University of California, Berkeley will also be onboard for the suborbital spaceflight.

Since 2018, Virgin Galactic has been participating in NASA’s Flight Opportunities program and was recently chosen as a contracted flight provider for NASA for the next five years. Axiom Space, a Houston-based private spaceflight company, has completed three crewed trips to the International Space Station and plans for its fourth mission, Ax-4, in October.

The Galactic 07 mission comes after an incident in January where an alignment pin detached unexpectedly from VMS Eve post-separation from VSS Unity. Virgin Galactic has since taken corrective measures to ensure the safety of future missions. Axiom Space’s collaboration with Virgin Galactic highlights the shared commitment to enabling space access and promoting scientific discovery beyond Earth.