The Guardian »

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, the reusable rocket-powered space plane carrying the company’s first crew of tourists to space, successfully launched and landed on Thursday.

The mission, known as Galactic 02, took off shortly after 11am ET from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Aboard the spacecraft were six individuals total – the space plane’s commander and former Nasa astronaut CJ Sturckow, the pilot Kelly Latimer, as well as Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor who trained the crew before to the flight.

The spacecraft also carryied three private passengers, including the health and wellness coach Keisha Schahaff and her 18-year-old daughter, Anastasia Mayers, both of whom are Antiguan.