A Las Cruces, New Mexico native is set to become the next astronaut as she takes flight with Virgin Galactic's latest space flight.

Jamila Gilbert will be a mission specialist on Unity 25, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic brainchild.

You may remember he took the flight himself to the edge of space in July 2021 as part of Virgin Galactic's Unity 22 flight.

The Unity 25 flight is scheduled to happen later this month before Virgin Galactic opens it to commercial space flights in June.

Gilbert will be flying from Spaceport America, just an hour from her hometown. The New Mexico State University graduate and the Latina will join the first 100 women to reach space since joining Virgin Galactic in 2019.

On her mission will also be Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses, Astronaut Instructor Luke Mays and Mission Specialist Christopher Huie.

The objective of this mission is simple: "Unity 25 is the final assessment of the full spaceflight system and astronaut experience before commercial service opens in late June."

It will mark the 25th flight and the 5th spaceflight when the four crew members will reach the edge of space and experience several minutes of weightlessness before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere and landing back at Spaceport America.

"Our mission specialists were selected for their diverse expertise, and they couldn't be better suited to validate the astronaut training program and overall experience," said Mike Moses, President of Spaceline Missions and Safety. "After this flight we will begin flying our customers to space."

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