Press Release

AIAA Statement on the Successful Virgin Galactic Unity 22 Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
July 11, 2021
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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) congratulates our corporate member Virgin Galactic on its successful flight test of SpaceShipTwo Unity today. AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher made the following statement:


“On behalf of the 30,000 professional and student members of AIAA, we are excited to congratulate Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Galactic team on their accomplishments today! The successful Unity 22 mission marks a major step forward in humanity’s quest to extend the human neighborhood beyond planet Earth. Virgin Galactic is helping move us closer to the day when space travel is widely accessible to people everywhere.


We especially congratulate Unity 22 Mission Specialist Sirisha Bandla on her part in this flight. In addition to serving as a Unity 22 crew member, Sirisha is a member of our ASCEND Guiding Coalition. The ASCEND Guiding Coalition is the executive board of advisors for ASCEND, the global community focused on building humanity’s off-world future faster. Sirisha exemplifies the community experience of space because no one goes to space alone.


We commend the pioneering role of Sir Richard Branson in accelerating the nascent space tourism industry. Today’s mission would not have been possible without his long-term vision and risk taking. He has courageously led the Virgin Galactic team through challenges and tragedies to get here. Their collective perseverance is admirable, reminding us of how we must accelerate innovation in space with the utmost focus on safety and our shared humanity.


We recognize the countless professionals in the aerospace industry involved in making this mission a success, from design, to fabrication, to testing, and now to operations. We salute and applaud the Virgin Galactic team for pursuing their dreams with determination and making important contributions to shaping the future of aerospace.”


SpaceRef staff editor.