PHOTOS/VIDEO: Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed space flight at Spaceport America

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Courtesy Johnny Nash
Courtesy: Johnny Nash
Courtesy: Johnny Nash
A photographer prepares his camera as the sun rises over Spaceport America before Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson launches to space aboard his own rocket ship near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Special guests chat as they wait for Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson’s launch to space aboard his own rocket ship near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
FILE – This image provided by Virgin Galactic shows, from left, Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, Lead Operations Engineer Colin Bennett, Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses, Founder of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations Sirisha Bandla, and pilot Michael Masucci. Just a week shy of turning 71, the London-born founder of the Virgin Group will become only the second septuagenarian in space. (Virgin Galactic via AP, File)
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson waves to school children while heading to board the rocket plane that will fly him to space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, right, is greeted by school children before heading to board the rocket plane that will fly him to the edge of space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations, and one of the passengers accompanying Richard Branson, waves to the crowd before heading to board the rocket plane that will fly them to space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Courtesy: Johnny Nash
Spectators gather to watch the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity take off at Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, before traveling to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Courtesy: Johnny Nash
The Virgin Galactic space vessel sits by the fueling area of Spaceport America, near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, July 11, 2021 hours before travel to the cosmos with British billionaire Richard Branson on board. Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft is not a classic rocket. It’s attached to the belly of a large carrier airplane that takes off from a runway. After an hour it reaches an altitude high enough to release the smaller spacecraft, the VSS Unity, that in turn fires its engines and reaches suborbital space — where passengers float weightlessly for a few minutes — then glides back to earth. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity flies at Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, before traveling to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity flies at Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, before traveling to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Spectators watch as the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity and mothership separate, as they fly way above Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, on the way to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity and mothership flies above Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, on the way to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity and mothership separate as they fly way above Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, on the way to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity returns to earth after the mothership separates flying way above Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, on the way to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT – The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplane Unity and mothership separate as they fly way above Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021, on the way to the cosmos. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
In this photo provided by Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, bottom center, and his crew members experience zero gravity aboard his winged rocket ship on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of about 53 miles (88 kilometers) over the New Mexico desert — enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth. (Virgin Galactic via AP)
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NM – JULY 11: Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity returns to Spaceport America after its first fully crewed test flight July 11, 2021, in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico. Aboard VSS Unity are pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, and mission specialists Sirisha Bandla, British billionaire and founder of Virgin Galactic Sir Richard Branson, Colin Bennett, and Beth Moses. The VSS Unity traveled to the edge of space at an altitude of over 50 miles above the Earth. (Photo by David Lienemann/Getty Images)
The Virgin Galactic rocket plane, with founder Richard Branson and other crew members on board, lands back in Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.M., Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson carries crew member Sirisha Bandla on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.M., Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, left, sprays champagne to crew member Beth Moses while celebrating their flight to space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.M., Sunday, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

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