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Pakistani Space Tourist Comes Back Down to Earth

October 17, 2023

WASHINGTON: Namira Salim, along with two other passengers, was sent into space by Virgin Galactic on Friday, making history as the first Pakistani woman to do so.

This was the fourth commercial space mission for Virgin. The other passengers were American astronomy professor Ron Rosano and British advertising professional Trevor Beattie.

At 1540 GMT (8:10 PM Pakistan time), Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft blasted off beneath the wings of its carrier vehicle, Virgin Mothership (VMS) Eve, launching Galactic 04 from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Eve launched Unity high into the skies over New Mexico, and at about 1624 GMT, the spacecraft was released at an altitude of about 45,000 feet (13,700 meters). Then, Unity activated its built-in rocket motor to propel itself to

“Get out, get out, get out! The business declared on its X account that Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity had successfully broken free from Virgin Mother Ship (VNS) Eve and fired the rocket motor.

Virgin reports that during its brief journey, the craft reached an apogee of 54.3 miles from Earth’s surface and reached a maximum speed of Mach 2.95, or almost three times the speed of sound.

In an image made public by the business, guests could be seen looking out the windows while they were weightless.

Finally landing at Spaceport America at 12:43 PM EDT (1643 GMT), the flight came to a conclusion.

VSS Unity was flown by Pilot CJ Sturckow and Commander Kelly Latimer. Beth Moses, the Chief Astronaut Instructor, was also on board. The VMS Eve cockpits were manned by pilot Jameel Janjua and commander Nicola Pecile. Canadian-Pakistani Jameel Janjua.

Virgin Galactic’s Astronaut 019 is Namira Salim. She describes herself as an artist, entrepreneur, and world traveller with a varied history in space involvement.

She tweeted before takeoff that Richard Branson, the creator of Virgin Galactic, had wished her a safe and successful voyage. She continued, “I’m proud to suit up and prepare my spaceflight gear using the same astronaut suite (sic) that Richard Branson used in July 2021.”

Namira Salim received additional praise for her achievement on Friday from Masood Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, who said, “Because of you our nation’s flag fluttered in space today.”

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