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The original item was published from 7/7/2021 12:41:51 PM to 7/14/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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City Manager Report

Posted on: July 2, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Virgin Galactic Announces Flight Window for First Fully Crewed Spaceflight

image of Governors logo

Note: The Following is a shared message from the New Mexico Department of Tourism and Office of the Governor

The future of space tourism is scheduled to take flight in Southern New Mexico on Sunday, July 11, when the New Mexico Tourism Department teams up with Virgin Galactic for Virgin Galactic’s first full-crewed spaceflight.

New Mexico True will serve as the presenting partner for the “Unity 22” mission, the 20-second flight test for Virgin Space Ship Unity. It will be the first flight to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson, who will be testing the private astronaut experience. 

The spaceflight will be livestreamed to a global audience and will prominently feature New Mexico True throughout the experience. The livestream will be available to watch on and will be simulcast on the Virgin Galactic Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channels. The spaceflight is expected to begin at 7 a.m. Mountain Time. Two watch parties, which will be free to the public, will be at the Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St., and in Council Chambers at City Hall, 700 N. Main St., on Sunday. Complimentary light refreshments will be available.

“We couldn’t be more excited to finally share this groundbreaking moment with the world,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “New Mexico has always been a hub for exploration, and the dawn of space tourism is happening right here.”

“An entirely new era for tourism begins here in New Mexico,” said Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer. “We’re excited to share New Mexico’s rich history of space and science, along with our vast open spaces and dark skies with the world.”

“This is a huge moment for Spaceport America and for New Mexico. By investing in the aerospace industry, New Mexico continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversifying its economy,” said Economic Development Secretary Alicia Keyes.

According to industry estimates, the suborbital space tourism market could be worth $8 billion by 2030.

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