Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity rocketship reached space on Thursday and has landed safely back at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico.
The VMS Eve mothership ferried the rocketship to 50,000 feet, at which time the vessels released from each other and Unity fired up its rocket motors and went into suborbit. It was 25th flight for VSS Unity, and Virgin Galactic’s 5th spaceflight.
If all goes well in this final in-house crew flight, the company plans to launch commercial service in late June, first flying an Italian Air Force Crew to space for research and training, and then initiating regular monthly flights for space tourists starting sometime later this summer.
There were six crew members on Thursday’s flight.
On Twitter, Virgin Galactic said: “VMS Eve has landed safely. Thanks to our pilots for flying the mothership and their vital role in helping VSS Unity complete today’s spaceflight. What a rush!”