October 23, 2021

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Pilots saw ‘red light’ warning during Virgin Galactic’s historic spaceflight with Richard Branson: report

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When Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson became the first billionaire to fly to space with his own company on July 11, he may have also come close to becoming the first billionaire to crash during a spaceflight, according to a report from The New Yorker

The mission, called Unity 22, saw Branson and four other passengers fly to space on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space plane VSS Unity, which was piloted by the company’s veteran pilots Dave Mackay and Mike Masucci. After a carrier aircraft called WhiteKnightTwo lifted VSS Unity to an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,000 meters), the space plane separated from its mothership and ignited its rocket engines, sending the craft soaring up to 53 miles (86 km) above Earth’s surface, where the crew experienced about four minutes of weightlessness before heading back to Earth via an unpowered glide flight. 

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