Women mark major milestones in Virgin Galactic’s 1st tourism flight

AP Photo/Andrés Leighton

Women made history in space on Thursday.

Four women were part of a crew of six for Galactic 02, the first Virgin Galactic private astronaut spaceflight. That’s the most women on a single space flight.

The crew took off from the Spaceport in New Mexico at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, reaching a top speed of Mach 3, which is three times the speed of sound.

The crew experienced weightlessness as they reached 55 miles above Earth’s surface. The flight landed about an hour after taking off.

“In my entire career, from the Air Force Academy to being a test pilot for NASA, nothing tops what I have just experienced at the controls of VSS Unity,” said pilot Kelly Latimer. “Going to space today fulfilled an ambition I’ve had since I was a child.”

Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers were among the women on the flight. They became the first mother-daughter duo to go to space together. At 18 years old, Mayers is reportedly the second-youngest person to go to space.

Beth Moses was the other woman on the flight. She’s the chief astronaut instructor for Virgin Galactic. She was responsible for training the crew for the mission.

Joining the women on the flight were tourist Jon Goodwin and commander CJ Sturckow.

“It is a surreal and humbling experience to have flown Unity today,” he said. “The wonder and excitement of spaceflight never loses its magic.”

Virgin Galactic has launched several other flights, including with founder Richard Branson, but this was the first to feature private citizens.

The cost to go to space on a Virgin Galactic spacecraft is $450,000. Interested parties must first put down a $150,000 deposit and pay the remaining balance in the year before their trip.

By Scripps News.

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