Virgin Galactic successfully blasts off to edge of space

Credit: Virgin Galactic. Do not obscure logo. Virgin Galactic has blasted off to the edge of space, marking the company’s first commercial spaceflight. After reaching an altitude of around 50,000 feet at 4.30pm UK time, the mothership, VMS Eve, released the rocket plane called VSS Unity with three Italian astronauts on board. Those inside the spaceship unfurled an Italian flag after reaching a state of weightlessness, having been given the all-clear to unbuckle and “enjoy” zero gravity for a few minutes. They then returned to their seats and strapped themselves back in ahead of the return journey. Around 15 minutes later, the crew, including an astronaut instructor, landed safely back on Earth at Spaceport America in New Mexico, having conducted 13 scientific experiments.