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Bad weather delays Richard Branson's flight to space

IANS/San Francisco
Filed on July 11, 2021
Reuters

If successful, the mission, called Unity 22, will mark Virgin Galactic's fourth flight to space carrying humans, with its largest crew yet.


Billionaire Sir Richard Branson's much-awaited flight to space has been delayed due to weather, the company said on Sunday. The The flight is now scheduled at 6:30pm UAE time.

Branson was all set to fly to the edge of space aboard his Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spaceplane, along with three company employees on Sunday (6.30 p.m. India time).

However, his flight has been delayed due to bad overnight weather in the launch area, the company shared in a tweet.

"Overnight weather delayed the start of flight preparations, but we are on track to fly today with a newly scheduled time.

"NEW TIME: Watch #UNITY22 launch and livestream TODAY at 7:30 am PT | 10:30 am ET | 3:30 pm BST," it said.

If successful, the mission, called Unity 22, will mark Virgin Galactic's fourth flight to space carrying humans, with its largest crew yet.

Popular American TV host Stephen Colbert was set to host the mission's livestream while singer-songwriter Khalid was set to perform a new single live onstage following the spaceplane's landing.

Branson said he will "announce something very exciting" after his spaceflight, reports The Verge.

Four people, including Branson, will test the astronaut cabin experience with two pilots in the cockpit.

Indian-origin Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of government affairs at Virgin Galactic, is among those who will fly to the edge of space.

Virgin Galactic's twin-fuselage WhiteKnight carrier aircraft will carry a rocket-powered spaceship called VSS Unity, with Branson and others on board.

"About 40 minutes after takeoff, Unity will drop from the middle of the mothership and ignite its rocket engine moments later to send Branson and the crew to the edge of space, about 89 kms high, for a few minutes of weightlessness."

After Branson, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is expected to take off in his own space tourism Blue Origin rocket on July 20.





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