Spaceflight company Virgin Galactic has announced plans to conduct the first fully crewed spaceflight mission, named Unity 22, on 11 July.

This will be the company’s fourth test spaceflight to date on its VSS Unity spacecraft.

The spacecraft will carry a full crew comprising two pilots and four mission specialists, which include Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, lead operations engineer Colin Bennett, and government affairs VP Sirisha Bandla.

The Unity 22 mission will focus on cabin and customer experience objectives.

Branson said: “I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry, which is set to open space to humankind and change the world for good.

“It’s one thing to have a dream of making space more accessible to all; it’s another for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality.

“As part of a remarkable crew of mission specialists, I’m honoured to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin.”

The announcement comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration granted the company the licence required to fly passengers on future spaceflights last week.

Virgin Galactic revealed that the spaceflight will be live-streamed on Virgin, as well as on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook channels.

Last month, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shared plans to fly on Blue Origin’s suborbital vehicle New Shepard, which is slated to fly on 20 July.