October 5, 2023
Virgin Galactic is preparing for its fourth commercial spaceflight mission, which is scheduled to launch on Friday, October 6, from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The crew of Galactic 04 will consist of three space tourists, accompanied by the company’s head astronaut instructor and the two pilots at the helm of Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity.
The three space tourists on Galactic 04 are:
- Beth Moses, a 64-year-old entrepreneur and former NASA spacesuit designer
- Sirisha Bandla, a 34-year-old research operations engineer at Virgin Galactic
- Colin Bennett, a 49-year-old investment banker and private equity investor
All three space tourists have paid $450,000 for their tickets to space.
Moses is the oldest woman to ever fly on a commercial spaceflight. She is also the first woman to fly on a commercial spaceflight in over two years. Bandla is the second Indian-American woman to fly to space. Bennett is the first person from the state of Utah to fly to space.
The two pilots on Galactic 04 are:
- Kelly Latimer, Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot and lead instructor
- CJ Sturckow, a former NASA astronaut who flew on three Space Shuttle missions
Latimer will be commanding the flight, and Sturckow will be the co-pilot.
The crew of Galactic 04 is excited to embark on their journey to space. They will experience several minutes of weightlessness and breathtaking views of Earth from the edge of space.
The launch of Galactic 04 is a major milestone for Virgin Galactic. It is the company’s fourth commercial spaceflight mission in as many months. Virgin Galactic is on track to achieve its goal of flying once a month by the end of 2023.