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Virgin Galactic to fly Italian Air Force on research mission to space

Stock MarketsSep 02, 2021 10:30AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Banner hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the Virgin Galactic (SPCE) IPO in New York, U.S., October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) -Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc is launching its first commercial research mission named "Unity 23" along with the Italian Air Force to the edge of space, it said on Thursday.

The space travel company has set late September or early October as the time for the mission that will carry three paying crew members from the Air Force and the Rome-based government agency National Research Council.

The crew will study the effect on the human body as they move from gravity to a low-gravity atmosphere and provide insights for future spaceflight systems and technologies.

The mission follows a successful first crewed test flight to space by Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket in July.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a deviation in the descent of the flight that took billionaire Richard Branson to space.

The company had said in July that it plans at least two more test flights of the spaceplane before beginning regular commercial operation in 2022.

One of those flights will carry four Italian astronauts-in-training, according to Chief Executive Michael Colglazier.

Virgin Galactic to fly Italian Air Force on research mission to space
 

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Comments (3)
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Sep 02, 2021 1:03PM ET
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Save some fuel, Italy. The answer to your research question: The earth IS like a 3 dimensional pizza, that is getting overcooked by the meatballs that are managing it.
Rustam Garaev
235666 Sep 02, 2021 10:37AM ET
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What a news lmao
JonMichael Patrick
JonMichael Patrick Sep 02, 2021 9:56AM ET
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nothing about the FAA investigation. crooks the lot of you
 
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