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Virgin Galactic spaceplane takes tourists on flight

FILE PHOTO: Virgin Galactic launches its first commercial spaceflight

(Reuters) - Virgin Galactic flew four tourists to the edge of space and back aboard its spaceplane, marking the second flight this year, the Richard Branson-founded company said on Saturday.

The Galactic 07 mission carried Turkish, U.S. and Italian passengers to an altitude of about 55 miles (88.51 km) on a flight lasting slightly more than an hour.

The space tourism company said that mission took off from and returned to Spaceport America in New Mexico on Saturday.

It marked Virgin's VSS Unity spaceplane's final commercial flight as the company is now producing its fourth-generation spaceships expected to enter commercial service in 2026, the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)