Sir Richard Branson’s Highly-Anticipated Virgin Galactic Flight to Space Delayed: Here’s Why

by Clayton Edwards

Sir Richard Branson’s groundbreaking spaceflight is still happening today. However, it is happening a little later than planned. Branson hopes to usher in a new age of tourism as well as a brand new industry with his flight to the edge of space later this morning.

Originally, Sir Richard Branson and the crew of the Unity 22 mission planned to launch at 9 AM Eastern Time. However, bad overnight weather delayed the launch by ninety minutes. So, those who were gearing up to watch Branson and Virgin Galactic make history this morning can still do so. It will just be a little later than planned. Moments ago, Virgin Galactic’s Twitter account shared an encouraging message about the launch.

The tweet begins with, “It’s a beautiful day to go to space.” Then, they inform everyone that things are moving along almost as planned. Richard Branson and the rest of the Unity 22 crew are already in place at Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Finally, it says that anyone interested can head to the Virgin Galactic website to watch the launch later this morning. The event starts at 7:30 Pacific Time, 10:30 Eastern Time. For those in Sir Branson’s homeland, 3:30 pm, British Standard Time.

More About Sir Richard Branson’s Flight to Space

Sir Richard Branson is the billionaire head of Virgin Industries. His space tourism firm Virgin Galactic is handling the launch. He will be onboard their maiden journey to the edge of space. However, Branson will not be a passive observer or passenger on this voyage to the stars. He holds the title of mission specialist on the Unity 22 crew, according to ABC News.

Today’s launch marks the fourth manned flight for Sir Richard Branson’s VSS Unity spacecraft. However, it is the first fully-crewed flight for the craft.

The VSS Unity is a smaller craft in which Sir Richard Branson and his crewmates will ride. That craft is attached to a larger “mothership,” that will take the Unity to an altitude of roughly 50,000 feet before launching it into space.

Other members of the Virgin Galactic staff will join Sir Richard Branson on this groundbreaking journey. Chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, lead operations engineer Colin Bennet will round out one portion of the crew. Sirisha Bandla, vice president of government affairs and research operations will also take the flight aboard Unity 22. Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci will helm the craft. C.J. Sturckow and Kelly Latimer are flying the mothership that will bring the craft to altitude.

In a recent statement about his new venture, Sir Richard Branson said, “I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After 17 years of research, engineering, and innovation, the new commercial space industry is poised to open the universe to humankind and change the world for good.”