Virgin Galactic yesterday completed its first manned suborbital flight since July 2021, carrying six employees to about fifty miles altitude for about five minutes.
Virgin Galactic’s “mothership” aircraft, VMS Eve, took off from the runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico at 11:15 a.m. Eastern. The takeoff occurred more than an hour behind a schedule provided by the company the day before, but the company did not disclose the reason for the delay.
Virgin Galactic released VSS Unity at 12:23 p.m. Eastern. The spaceplane appeared to perform a nominal burn of its hybrid rocket engine before descending to a runway landing back at Spaceport America nearly 15 minutes later. Virgin Galactic said the vehicle reached a peak altitude of 87.2 kilometers — above the 50-mile altitude used by U.S. government agencies for awarding astronaut wings, but below the 100-kilometer Kármán line — and top speed of Mach 2.94.
The company did not live stream the event, in sharp contrast to the heavy coverage it always provided when Richard Branson was in charge. It now says it soon begin regularly passenger flights.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon
, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit
. If you buy it from ebookit
you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.
The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News