Author Topic: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - Italian Air Force - 29 June 2023 (15:00 UTC)  (Read 22585 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://investors.virgingalactic.com/news/news-details/2021/Virgin-Galactic-Announces-First-Commercial-Research-Mission/default.aspx

Quote
VIRGIN GALACTIC ANNOUNCES FIRST COMMERCIAL RESEARCH MISSION

SEPTEMBER, 02, 2021
“Unity 23” Test Flight Will Mark First Research Customer Mission

Partnership with Italian Air Force Marks First Mission of Its Kind led by European Country

LAS CRUCES, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, today announced the manifest for the next rocket-powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo Unity from Spaceport America, which will be the first commercial, human-tended research mission for the Company.

The “Unity 23” mission will be the 23rd flight for VSS Unity and will carry three paying crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council. The goal of the mission is to evaluate and measure the effects of the transitional phase from gravity to microgravity on the human body. Other payloads on board will study the effect of the microgravity environment on a range of chemical and physical properties. By testing and evaluating physiological and technological responses in sub-orbital flight, the mission aims to produce insights relevant to current and future spaceflight systems and technologies.

The crew will be:

Col. Walter Villadei, Italian Air Force. Col. Villadei, a space engineer and cosmonaut, will serve as mission lead, tending to the rack-mounted payloads during the weightless portion of the flight. He will wear a cutting-edge smart suit, incorporating Italian fashion style and technology, to measure his biometric data and physiological responses.

Lt. Col. Angelo Landolfi, Physician, Italian Air Force. Lt. Col. Landolfi will conduct tests measuring cognitive performance in microgravity. In addition, he will activate syringe payloads from his seat to investigate how certain liquids and solids mix in microgravity.

Pantaleone Carlucci, Aerospace Engineer and National Research Council researcher. Mr. Carlucci will wear sensors that examine heart rate, brain function and other human performance metrics in microgravity.

Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor, Virgin Galactic. Ms. Moses will serve as cabin lead in space, calling out key mission phases and cabin instructions and overseeing the safe and efficient execution of the flight timeline. She will not interact directly with the Italian experiments.

The pilots for this mission are Michael Masucci and CJ Sturckow flying VSS Unity and Nicola Pecile and Kelly Latimer flying VMS Eve.

The Company is targeting a flight window in late September or early October 2021, pending technical checks and weather. Audiences around the world will be invited to participate virtually in the Unity 23 flight and witness the commercial research mission with the Italian Air Force through a live stream available on VirginGalactic.com.

Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, said: “Being selected by the Italian Air Force to support their microgravity research is a testament to the unique scientific capabilities of our spaceflight system. We’re proud to be facilitating cooperation between spacefaring nations and industry pioneers to expand human knowledge, and demonstrate the intrinsic value of our offering to government and scientific partners. This flight will be remembered as an important milestone in unlocking the transformative potential of repeatable and reliable access to space for years to come.”

Sirisha Bandla, Head of Virgin Galactic Research and Vice President of Government Affairs, said: “The commercial space industry is providing scientific opportunities that were unthinkable a decade ago. By offering routine access to space, with a flight profile that can be tailored to the payloads on board, we are offering novel prospects for researchers to conduct microgravity science and technology development. We’re proud to be ushering in a new era in human-tended spaceflight research and helping the Italian Air Force build on their 60-year legacy in space innovation.”

Lieutenant General Alberto Rosso, Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, said: “The Italian Air Force has always placed great importance on the understanding of space and aerospace. Aerospace is the natural operational extension of our institutional duty. Strength in this domain is an asset for the Country and is critical to its protection and safety, which is why the Air Force places great emphasis on further deepening its knowledge. With this mission, the Italian Air Force aims to start exploring potential implementations for this kind of vehicle - both civilian and military - and to further opportunities for technological, scientific and industrial growth. We are thrilled to entrust this important mission to a flight pioneer such as Virgin Galactic.”

You can download all press materials including images and broll from the Virgin Galactic Press Assets
« Last Edit: 06/26/2023 11:55 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #1 on: 09/02/2021 06:36 pm »
May be a delay, depending on how quickly the investigation into the previous flight wraps-up:

https://twitter.com/joroulette/status/1433486852233830407

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FAA says "Virgin Galactic may not return the SpaceShipTwo vehicle to flight until the FAA approves the final mishap investigation report" or determines mishap-related issues don't affect public safety, as is routine for probes like the one into SS2's airspace deviation in July

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #2 on: 09/10/2021 10:01 pm »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1436437549992587264

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Virgin Galactic $SPCE delays the Unity 23 spaceflight to mid-October, due to "a potential manufacturing defect in a component of the flight control actuation system."

The issue is unrelated to the Unity 22 flight or the ongoing FAA investigation.

From https://investors.virgingalactic.com/news/news-details/2021/Virgin-Galactic-Provides-Update-on-Unity-23-Test-Flight/default.aspx:

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During preparation for the Unity 23 test flight. a third-party supplier recently flagged a potential manufacturing defect in a component of the flight control actuation system that they supply to Virgin Galactic. At this point. it is not yet known whether the defect is present in the Company's vehicles and what, if any, repair work may be needed. Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with Virgin Galactic's established safety procedures. the Company is in the process of conducting inspections in partnership with the vendor.

This issue is unrelated to the Unity 22 flight or the current FAA matter, which is focussed on air traffic control clearance and communications.

As result, and pending resolution of the FAA matter, the earliest the Company expects to open its flight window for Unity 23 is mid October. A further update and specific flight window will be shored once the inspection is complete, in coordination with the ltalion Air Force.
« Last Edit: 09/10/2021 10:08 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Yiosie

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #3 on: 10/14/2021 09:51 pm »
Unity 23 delayed to NET June-August 2022, after the 8-10 month modification period:

Virgin Galactic delays beginning of commercial spaceflights to fourth quarter 2022, stock falls 13% [dated Oct. 14]

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Virgin Galactic is delaying the beginning of its commercial space tourism service to fourth quarter 2022, with the company on Thursday announcing a reorganization of its development and test flight schedule.

The space tourism company will this month begin work refurbishing and improving its spacecraft and carrier aircraft, a process a Virgin Galactic spokesperson told CNBC is expected to last eight to 10 months – with completion expected between June and August.

Virgin Galactic had planned to begin the “enhancement” period after the next spaceflight, called Unity 23. But the company said a recent test “flagged a possible reduction in the strength margins of certain materials used to modify specific joints” in its vehicles that will require “further physical inspection.”

With the work on Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft VSS Unity and carrier aircraft VMS Eve beginning this month, the process makes mid-2022 the earliest that the Unity 23 may fly.

<snip>

Virgin Galactic had two more spaceflights scheduled – Unity 24 and Unity 25, with the latter representing the launch of commercial service – for the third quarter of 2022, but those no longer have public target dates.

My guess:
Unity 23 in Q3 2022
Unity 24 in Q4 2022
Unity 25 NET end of 2022, probably delayed to 2023

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #4 on: 06/27/2022 03:50 pm »
Unity 23 delayed to NET June-August 2022, after the 8-10 month modification period:

Virgin Galactic delays beginning of commercial spaceflights to fourth quarter 2022, stock falls 13% [dated Oct. 14]

Quote
Virgin Galactic is delaying the beginning of its commercial space tourism service to fourth quarter 2022, with the company on Thursday announcing a reorganization of its development and test flight schedule.

The space tourism company will this month begin work refurbishing and improving its spacecraft and carrier aircraft, a process a Virgin Galactic spokesperson told CNBC is expected to last eight to 10 months – with completion expected between June and August.

Virgin Galactic had planned to begin the “enhancement” period after the next spaceflight, called Unity 23. But the company said a recent test “flagged a possible reduction in the strength margins of certain materials used to modify specific joints” in its vehicles that will require “further physical inspection.”

With the work on Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft VSS Unity and carrier aircraft VMS Eve beginning this month, the process makes mid-2022 the earliest that the Unity 23 may fly.

<snip>

Virgin Galactic had two more spaceflights scheduled – Unity 24 and Unity 25, with the latter representing the launch of commercial service – for the third quarter of 2022, but those no longer have public target dates.

My guess:
Unity 23 in Q3 2022
Unity 24 in Q4 2022
Unity 25 NET end of 2022, probably delayed to 2023
I have not been able to find any latest updates regarding the upcoming Unity 23 flight involving SpaceShipTwo, but is it possible that initial preparations are underway for the Unity 23 suborbital flight to be carried out?

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #5 on: 04/29/2023 02:20 pm »
According to the Unity 25 flight news story at the website Parabolic Arc, commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo are expected to begin by the end of June, so I'm speculating that the Unity 23 spaceflight might happen in late June.
« Last Edit: 06/15/2023 10:57 pm by Vahe231991 »

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #6 on: 05/08/2023 02:11 pm »

Unity 24 this month and Galactic 01 in June, what will happen with this mission?


Maybe now it will be Galactic 01?
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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #7 on: 05/08/2023 02:59 pm »
First commercial mission planned for late June.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1655570760511963141

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Unity 25 will be the final assessment of the full spaceflight system and astronaut experience ahead of our first commercial flight, 'Galactic 01', planned for late June.

Seems this will be the flight with the Italian mission specialists.

https://investors.virgingalactic.com/news/news-details/2021/Virgin-Galactic-Announces-First-Commercial-Research-Mission/default.aspx

Paywall! https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-28/virgin-galactic-says-first-customers-head-to-space-within-months

Quote
Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. said it’s on track to take an Italian Air Force research crew to space in the second quarter of 2023, kicking off the company’s long-awaited commercial service.
The company will need to take several steps before it reaches the milestone, including ground testing of its primary spaceplane, VSS Unity, and carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, Virgin Galactic said Tuesday. It also plans to conduct a full-powered test flight with Virgin employees on board.

Virgin Galactic gave the update along with its fourth-quarter results, which were mixed. Revenue reached $869,000, higher than the $564,000 analysts expected. However, the company lost 55 cents a share, more than the 50-cents-a-share loss anticipated by Wall Street.

“Our near-term objective for commercial spaceline operations is to safely deliver recurring flights with our current ships while providing an unrivaled experience for private astronauts and researchers,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Colglazier said in a statement.

The shares reversed a postmarket gain of as much 6.4% to fall 1.6% as of 5 p.m. in New York. The stock was up 65% so far this year, through Tuesday’s close, to $5.74 a share but down 90% from its February 2021 peak.
The company is aiming to deliver regular quick trips for customers on VSS Unity, which climbs to the edge of space after dropping from its carrier aircraft and then glides to a runway like a plane. Last year it reopened ticket sales to the general public at an increased price of $450,000. The first customers to pay for flights many years ago initially agreed to pay $250,000 per ticket.

Like others who are seeking to shuttle tourists to and from space, Virgin Galactic has faced setbacks. The company flew Branson to space on the VSS Unity in July 2021. A few months after that flight, the company announced it would begin a “planned vehicle enhancement and modification period” to upgrade its hardware, causing all flights to be grounded.
Most of the upgrades centered on VMS Eve, the company said. One of the biggest improvements has been equipping the aircraft with an entirely new launch pylon, which is used to attach the spaceship to Eve.

Work on both vehicles was completed last year and Virgin Galactic’s aircraft have started taking to the skies again. Eve — a giant twin fuselage plane that carries VSS Unity to its deployment altitude — conducted a test flight out of Mojave, California, on Feb. 15. On Feb. 27, it flew from Mojave to Spaceport America in New Mexico, the site where Virgin Galactic plans to conduct its commercial flights to space.

Now with Eve back in New Mexico, Virgin Galactic plans to ramp up validation testing. It will start by ground testing its vehicles, with its aircraft carrier and spaceplane mated together. After that, it will conduct a glide flight of Unity, in which the spaceplane is deployed from Eve and glides to a runway.

If those are successful, Virgin Galactic will conduct a full-powered test flight of Unity, with a crew of company employees on board – similar to the flight that Branson took. That flight will include final systems checks and validate the in-flight experience.

As of now, the plan is to start commercial service once that powered flight is complete.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 03:21 pm by starbase »
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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #8 on: 05/08/2023 06:38 pm »
First commercial mission planned for late June.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1655570760511963141

Quote
Unity 25 will be the final assessment of the full spaceflight system and astronaut experience ahead of our first commercial flight, 'Galactic 01', planned for late June.

Seems this will be the flight with the Italian mission specialists.

https://investors.virgingalactic.com/news/news-details/2021/Virgin-Galactic-Announces-First-Commercial-Research-Mission/default.aspx

Paywall! https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-28/virgin-galactic-says-first-customers-head-to-space-within-months

Quote
Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. said it’s on track to take an Italian Air Force research crew to space in the second quarter of 2023, kicking off the company’s long-awaited commercial service.
The company will need to take several steps before it reaches the milestone, including ground testing of its primary spaceplane, VSS Unity, and carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, Virgin Galactic said Tuesday. It also plans to conduct a full-powered test flight with Virgin employees on board.

Virgin Galactic gave the update along with its fourth-quarter results, which were mixed. Revenue reached $869,000, higher than the $564,000 analysts expected. However, the company lost 55 cents a share, more than the 50-cents-a-share loss anticipated by Wall Street.

“Our near-term objective for commercial spaceline operations is to safely deliver recurring flights with our current ships while providing an unrivaled experience for private astronauts and researchers,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Colglazier said in a statement.

The shares reversed a postmarket gain of as much 6.4% to fall 1.6% as of 5 p.m. in New York. The stock was up 65% so far this year, through Tuesday’s close, to $5.74 a share but down 90% from its February 2021 peak.
The company is aiming to deliver regular quick trips for customers on VSS Unity, which climbs to the edge of space after dropping from its carrier aircraft and then glides to a runway like a plane. Last year it reopened ticket sales to the general public at an increased price of $450,000. The first customers to pay for flights many years ago initially agreed to pay $250,000 per ticket.

Like others who are seeking to shuttle tourists to and from space, Virgin Galactic has faced setbacks. The company flew Branson to space on the VSS Unity in July 2021. A few months after that flight, the company announced it would begin a “planned vehicle enhancement and modification period” to upgrade its hardware, causing all flights to be grounded.
Most of the upgrades centered on VMS Eve, the company said. One of the biggest improvements has been equipping the aircraft with an entirely new launch pylon, which is used to attach the spaceship to Eve.

Work on both vehicles was completed last year and Virgin Galactic’s aircraft have started taking to the skies again. Eve — a giant twin fuselage plane that carries VSS Unity to its deployment altitude — conducted a test flight out of Mojave, California, on Feb. 15. On Feb. 27, it flew from Mojave to Spaceport America in New Mexico, the site where Virgin Galactic plans to conduct its commercial flights to space.

Now with Eve back in New Mexico, Virgin Galactic plans to ramp up validation testing. It will start by ground testing its vehicles, with its aircraft carrier and spaceplane mated together. After that, it will conduct a glide flight of Unity, in which the spaceplane is deployed from Eve and glides to a runway.

If those are successful, Virgin Galactic will conduct a full-powered test flight of Unity, with a crew of company employees on board – similar to the flight that Branson took. That flight will include final systems checks and validate the in-flight experience.

As of now, the plan is to start commercial service once that powered flight is complete.
I'll have to agree with you that the upcoming Galactic 01 Spaceflight is almost certainly the long-planned Unity 23 flight of SpaceShipTwo because Italian Air Force mission specialists were chosen to take part in the Unity 23 flight back in late 2021.

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #9 on: 05/08/2023 06:44 pm »

Unity 24 this month and Galactic 01 in June, what will happen with this mission?


Maybe now it will be Galactic 01?
It's highly likely that Galactic 01 is the long-planned Unity 23 flight of the SpaceShipTwo vehicle VSS Unity because that flight is currently the first scheduled commercial flight of the SpaceShipTwo and a number of Italian Air Force mission specialists were chosen in late 2021 to take part in the Unity 23 flight, whereas the Unity 24 flight will be piloted by an all-American crew:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54690.0

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #10 on: 05/09/2023 05:37 am »
It's highly likely that Galactic 01 is the long-planned Unity 23 flight of the SpaceShipTwo vehicle VSS Unity because that flight is currently the first scheduled commercial flight of the SpaceShipTwo and a number of Italian Air Force mission specialists were chosen in late 2021 to take part in the Unity 23 flight, whereas the Unity 24 flight will be piloted by an all-American crew: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54690.0

Unity 24 was the unpowered glide flight on 24 April. Unity 25 is the next flight with a US crew.

https://spacelaunchnow.me/launch/spaceshiptwo-vss-unity-24/
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SS2 Galactic 01 Spaceflight - late June 2023
« Reply #11 on: 05/09/2023 09:56 pm »
Confirmation that Unity 23 & Galactic 01 are one and the same. Threads merged.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1656046163009871872

Quote
🔑Keys

#Unity25 marks our return to space w/ 2 pilots & 4 mission specialists in late May

Our 1st commercial flight, Galactic 01, will be a scientific research flight w/ the @ItalianAirForce in Late June

Private astronaut & research customers to fly regularly after Galactic 01
« Last Edit: 05/09/2023 10:00 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Vahe231991

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Now that SpaceShipTwo passed its final suborbital flight test with Unity 25, Virgin Galactic will soon begin preparations for the first scheduled commercial flight of the VSS Unity scheduled for late June.

https://www.space.com/virgin-galactic-unity-25-test-flight-suborbital-space

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1669435943739183123

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Virgin Galactic $SPCE is targeting a launch window opening June 27 for its first commercial spaceflight, carrying customers for the Italian Air Force:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/06/15/virgin-galactic-sets-first-commercial-space-tourism-flight.html

Quote
The company on Thursday said the flight is targeting a launch window that opens June 27 and runs to June 30.

It then plans for a second commercial flight to follow in “early August,” with “monthly” commercial flights after that.

The company, which was founded by billionaire Richard Branson, completed its final test spaceflight in May.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Edit: revised stream link from VG:


« Last Edit: 06/26/2023 05:19 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline ChrisC

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(Virgin Galactic live feed on Youtube

Note that it says that it goes live June 29th (at 9am but not sure which timezone it means).
« Last Edit: 06/23/2023 02:46 am by ChrisC »
PSA #1: EST does NOT mean "Eastern Time".  Use "Eastern" or "ET" instead, all year round, and avoid this common error.  Google "EST vs EDT".
PSA #2: It's and its: know the difference and quietly impress grammar pedants.  Google "angry flower its" .  *** See profile for two more NSF forum tips. ***

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https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1673290347647242240

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Save the date for #Galactic01! 📅

Join us on June 29 to see where curiosity can take us all, with our first scientific research mission crewed by the @ItalianAirForce & @CNRsocial_.

Learn more and sign up for livestream updates → https://www.virgingalactic.com/news/virgin-galactic-announces-galactic-01-crew-onboard-the-first-commercial

Time in website is 15:00 UTC

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Crew details attached

Offline ChrisC

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There's an interesting shot at 00m07s in that video showing the research setup, presumably a test run during a captive carry flight.  (someone else with better tools than me can screenshot it)
PSA #1: EST does NOT mean "Eastern Time".  Use "Eastern" or "ET" instead, all year round, and avoid this common error.  Google "EST vs EDT".
PSA #2: It's and its: know the difference and quietly impress grammar pedants.  Google "angry flower its" .  *** See profile for two more NSF forum tips. ***

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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There's an interesting shot at 00m07s in that video showing the research setup, presumably a test run during a captive carry flight.  (someone else with better tools than me can screenshot it)

Screenshot attached from YT version of video:


 

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