Virgin Galactic is planning the first fully crewed space flight of its VSS Unity spaceplane today, Sunday, June 11. The original plan had been for the launch to begin at 9 a.m. ET (6 a.m. PT). However, this time has now been delayed by 90 minutes to 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT).
Virgin Galactic says the delay is due to bad weather. “Due to weather overnight at Spaceport America, launch preparations are delayed by 90 minutes,” the company wrote in a statement.
Spaceport America, where the flight will begin and end, is located in Sierra County, New Mexico. Although there was rain there last night and early in the morning, the forecast for the rest of the day is warm and sunny so the flight should be able to go ahead as planned.
Virgin Galactic showed off some beautiful shots of preparations for the first fully crewed flight in a video posted to its Twitter account:
It’s a beautiful day to go to space. @RichardBranson and the #Unity22 crew have arrived at @Spaceport_NM in New Mexico. Get ready to watch our test flight LIVE at 7:30 am PT | 10:30 am ET | 3:30 pm BST on https://t.co/5UalYT7Hjb. pic.twitter.com/DdPJONJldI
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 11, 2021
The plan is for the spaceplane VSS Unity to launch from Spaceport America, carrying a six-person crew including the founder of the company Richard Branson. The crew will be taken to the edge of space where they will experience several minutes of weightlessness before the plane glides back down to Earth and lands on the Spaceport America runway.
This is the first test of the planned space tourism service from Virgin Galactic, with seats on future flights of the service going for $250,000.
To watch the crewed flight live, you can tune in to Virgin Galactic’s livestream using the video embedded at the top of this page, or you can head to our how to watch page for all the details.
- SpaceX eyes weather for first civilian orbital mission on Wednesday
- Virgin Galactic grounded by FAA investigation into off-course flight
- Netflix drops trailer for docuseries on SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission
- Virgin Galactic: Final chance to win free flight to edge of space
- SpaceX resupply mission to ISS delayed until tomorrow due to weather