Connect with us
Apply Now

Executive Voice

There and Back Again: Sir Richard Branson’s Space Tale

On Sunday morning, Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Galactic team made history after completing a successful mission to space and back

After nearly 17 years of development and over a billion dollars invested into Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson successfully reached space and returned safely to Earth on Sunday morning. This mission marks the fourth spaceflight to date for Virgin Galactic, with today’s flight marking this year’s second flight. This also is the first flight carrying more than one passenger.

At 9:30am CST / 10:30am EST, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity (named after the late Stephen Hawkin’s desire to unite mankind with space exploration), launched above New Mexico skies on Sunday, with two pilots, Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci leading the mission with billionaire and founder, Sir Richard Branson and three Virgin Galactic employees – Beth Moses (chief astronaut trainer), Colin Bennett (lead operations engineer), and Sirisha Bandla (VP of government affairs).

This mission marks a return to space for both Mackay and Masucci, as well as Moses and Eve pilots C.J. Sturckow and Mark Stucky. After being released by a Star Wars-like carrier aircraft, “VMS Eve” (named after Branson’s late mother), fired its rocket engine and traveled past Mach 3 (or the speed of sound) to see Earth below it.

By definition, the United States considers pilots who have flown above 80 kilometers, or 262,000 feet to officially be labeled “astronauts.”

Meet the Virgin Galactic Crew

Beth Moses

Moses serves as Chief Astronaut Instructor at Virgin Galactic and will handle the training for all of the company’s future customers. She’s flown to space on VSS Unity once before, during a 2019 test flight. She is also an aerospace engineer, helping to ensure her fellow passengers stayed safe aboard Sunday’s spaceflight, and ensured that Virgin Galactic collected all the data it needed because this flight will be, at the end of the day, still a test flight.

Colin Bennett

Bennett serves as the company’s lead operations engineer. He helped evaluate the overall experience and ensured the cabin equipment is in good shape.

Sirisha Bandla

Bandla serves as Virgin Galactic’s vice president of government affairs and research. Bandla was on board for the science, handling a University of Florida research project that involves handling “handheld fixation tubes,” according to the company.

Looking ahead to the future of space exploration, the VSS Unity is designed to hold up to six passengers along with the two pilots. Currently, the company has 600 reservations for tickets on future flights, including A-list celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Katy Perry.

One passenger, according to ABC News, has been holding onto her ticket for 15 years, and couldn’t be more excited to finally see a return on her investment. Ticket are being sold at $200,000 – $250,000 each.

After today’s successful mission, Virgin Galactic anticipates opening up space exploration for commercial service in early 2022, while it continues to test its spacecraft system. There are two remaining spaceflights for Virgin Galactic this year.

An earlier tweet from Virgin Galactic reads:

Congratulations to Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic, and the United States.

Source: True Hollywood Talk

For more of Andrew’s work, please click here.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.