A sign stands outside the entrance to Spaceport America, prior to the launch of Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo Unity, July 10, 2021 in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico. Virigin Galactic announced a spaceflight for May 25 and plans to expand commercial flights in late June. (Photo by David Lienemann / Getty Images)
Virgin Galactic announced Wednesday a flight window opens next week for its crewed spaceflight from Spaceport America outside Truth or Consequences. The five-person crew includes a Las Cruces woman, Jamila Gilbert.
According to the announcement on the company’s website, the crew will begin training next week, before the Thursday, May 25 flight window.
On a May 9 earnings call with investors, Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said the company is on track to start commercial flights from the New Mexico spaceport this summer.
“We will be opening access to space, applying scientific researchers and civilian astronauts on a regular basis, beginning with our Galactic 01 flight planned for late June,” he said.
The flight planned for June will be a research mission with members of the Italian Air Force, first announced for September 2021.
In the earnings call, Colglazier said the company will expect to reopen ticket sales to the public after flights resume. He told investors that there have been “minimal cancellations” from the more than 800 tickets bought over the years.
In related news, officials announced that the next board meeting for the New Mexico Spaceport Authority is Wednesday, May 24. The meeting, scheduled for 2 p.m. will be over video conference. Further details, like how to log on, will be released with the agenda. By law, an agenda will need to be posted Friday, May 19.
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