Enlarge / The VSS Unity
spacecraft rockets to space on its first spaceflight. (credit:
On Wednesday, Virgin Galactic signed an agreement with the
Italian Air Force to have humans fly on board its suborbital
spacecraft and conduct scientific research.
The deal marks the first time a government has bought a ride on
a private, suborbital space mission to conduct any kind of
human-led experiments. The first research flight could take place
as early as next year, the company said.
“We’re delighted to work with the Italian Air Force to
further space-based research and technology development through
this historic mission,” Virgin’s chief executive, George
Whitesides, said in a news release.
Source: FS – All – Science – News
Italy signs an agreement to fly on VSS Unity for research missions