TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Virgin Galactic expects to launch at least five more spaceflights in 2023, Doug Ahrens, Virgin Galactic’s chief financial officer, said during the company’s second quarter earnings call Tuesday.
The five flights will be a mix of research and private astronaut missions. “With commercial service, we anticipate a monthly flight cadence beginning in August with two commercial spaceflights in the third quarter and three commercial spaceflights in the fourth quarter,” Ahrens said.
The spaceflights will depart from Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Virgin Galactic has its next spaceflight planned on Aug. 10. The Galactic 02 mission will be Virgin Galactic’s first private flight with three tourists onboard the VSS Unity.
Jon Goodwin, 80, will be the first Olympian to travel to space with the Galactic 02 crew. Keisha Schahaff, 46, and her daughter Anastasia Mayers, 18, will also be part of the mission. The two will become the first mother and daughter to travel to space together. The duo won a contest to get their tickets to space.
“Scheduled for next week, the ‘Galactic 02’ mission will deliver a transformational experience for our first private astronauts, and we expect to continue broadening access to space with monthly flights thereafter,” Michael Colglazier, chief executive officer of Virgin Galactic, stated in the company’s second quarter 2023 earnings press release.
The Aug. 10 spaceflight will be the company’s third flight of 2023. Private flights with Virgin Galactic cost around $450,000.