Engineering:VSS Unity VF-01

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VSS Unity VF-01
Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo "Unity" rollout 19Feb2016, FAITH hangar, Mojave, California.jpg
VSS Unity
Mission typeCrewed suborbital test flight
OperatorVirgin Galactic
Crew
Crew size3
Members
  • David Mackay
  • Mike Masucci
  • Beth Moses (passenger)
Start of mission
Launch date22 February 2019
End of mission
Landing date22 February 2019
TBA →
 

VSS Unity VF-01[1] was a sub-orbital spaceflight of the SpaceShipTwo-class VSS Unity which took place on 22 February 2019, piloted by David Mackay and co-piloted by Mike Masucci. It was operated by Virgin Galactic, a private company led by Richard Branson which intends to conduct space tourism flights in the future. Following VSS Unity VP-03, VF-01 was a demonstration of the craft's ability to carry passengers. Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut trainer Beth Moses acted as a test passenger, evaluating the experience for potential customers.[2]

Reaching an apogee of 89.9 km (55.9 mi), the flight satisfied the United States definition of spaceflight (50 mi (80.47 km)), but fell short of the Kármán line (100 km (62.14 mi)), the internationally accepted standard.

Crew

Position Astronaut
Pilot David Mackay
First (per U.S. convention) spaceflight
Co-Pilot Mike Masucci
First (per U.S. convention) spaceflight
Passenger Beth Moses
First (per U.S. convention) spaceflight

Flight

On 22 February 2019, Unity's mother ship VMS Eve carried it into flight in a parasite configuration. Shortly before 9 a.m., Unity was drop launched. Pilots MacKay and Masucci flew Unity at a maximum Mach of 3.04 to a maximum altitude of 55.87 miles, or 295,007 feet. This altitude surpassed the 50-mile limit used in the United States to denote the limit of space, but fell short of the Kármán line. Both craft landed safely afterwards. During flight, Moses unstrapped from her seat and experienced weightlessness. Per the U.S. convention, Moses was also the first woman aboard a commercial spacecraft.[3]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS Unity VF-01 was the original source. Read more.