Virgin Galactic 05 successfully completed its space mission earlier today, marking the company’s tenth spaceflight to date. The crew consisted of U.S. Planetary Scientist Dr. Alan Stern, U.S. Payload Specialist Kellie Gerardi, and private astronaut Ketty Pucci-Sisti Maisonrouge.
Researchers Dr. Alan Stern and Kellie Geradi conducted five experiments during the suborbital spaceflight. Stern’s experiments include a biomedical harness to collect physiological data related to human spaceflight, while Geradi’s had her examining how a confined fluid behaves in low gravity to help inform technologies such as spacecraft lift-support systems.
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The suborbital science potential for Institutes like ours is unprecedented and I’m also struck by the broader societal impact of commercial human spaceflight — after today’s mission, Virgin Galactic is now responsible for producing 10% of the world’s female astronauts, and I look forward to seeing that number soar for my daughter’s generation,” said Kellie Gerardi, U.S. Payload Specialist and Bioastronautics Researcher for the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences (IIAS).