3 Italians set to go sub-orbital on Virgin Galactic

1st Europeans will conduct tests for air force, CNR

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 2 - Three Italians are set to be the first from their country, and the first Europeans, to go sub-orbital on a Virgin Galactic flight at the end of this month, it was announced Thursday.
    Air force Colonel Walter Villadei, lieutenant colonel Angelo Landolfi, and National Research Council (CNR) engineer Pantaleone Carlucci will carry out scientific experiments on board the Spaceship-2 space plane.
    The mission was presented Thursday by the air force and the CNR.
    It will be called Virtute-1, an Italian acronym for Italian Flight For Suborbital Research and Technology.
    Virtute is the Latin for 'virtue'.
    Virgin Galactic (VG) is an American spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson and his British Virgin Group retains an 18% stake through Virgin Investments Limited.
    It is headquartered in California, USA, and operates from New Mexico.
    The company is developing commercial spacecraft and aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists.
    Virgin Galactic's suborbital spacecraft are air launched from beneath a carrier airplane known as White Knight Two. Virgin Galactic's maiden spaceflight occurred in 2018 with its VSS Unity spaceship.
    On 11 July 2021 company founder Richard Branson and three other employees rode on a flight as passengers, marking the first time a spaceflight company founder has travelled on his own ship into outer space (according to the NASA definition of outer space beginning at 50 miles above the Earth).
    Regular paid passenger service flights are scheduled to begin in 2022 after two more test flights have been completed. (ANSA).
   

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