Stephen Colbert will host Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity launch on Sunday

Richard Branson’s spaceflight is shaping as much as be fairly a star-studded affair.

The billionaire entrepreneur is scheduled to fly to suborbital space aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo car on Sunday (July 11). You can watch webcast protection of the take a look at mission here at courtesy of Virgin Galactic or directly via the company, starting at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).

And it’s best to watch, even when you’re not a giant space fan, as a result of the webcast will be hosted by Stephen Colbert.

Colbert got here into the duties in a considerably slapdash trend. On Thursday (July 8), he tweeted congratulations to Branson and joked that his invitation to the massive occasion will need to have gone straight to his spam folder. Branson replied with a livestream-hosting provide, and Colbert responded, “I’m in! BLAST OFF!”

Related: How to watch Virgin Galactic launch Richard Branson to space

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Colbert will be joined by the singer Khalid, who will premiere a music throughout the webcast; Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield; and science communicator Kellie Gerardi, Virgin Galactic said via Twitter on Friday (July 9).

Sunday’s mission, which departs from Spaceport America in New Mexico, will be Unity’s fourth take a look at flight to suborbital space. The different three occurred in December 2018, February 2019 and May of this year.

The six-passenger, two-pilot Unity takes off below the wings of a provider plane often known as VMS Eve. At an altitude of about 50,000 ft (15,000 meters), Eve drops Unity, which then fires up its onboard rocket motor and powers itself to suborbital space.

Unity is within the last phases of its test-flight program. If all goes nicely with Sunday’s flight and some extra within the fall, the spaceliner will be clear to start industrial operations early subsequent year, Virgin Galactic representatives have mentioned.

Virgin Galactic’s chief competitor within the suborbital space tourism business, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, is gearing up for a giant flight of its personal this month. Bezos and three different folks, together with pioneering aviator Wally Funk, are scheduled to launch July 20 on the primary crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital car. No phrase but on who will host that webcast.

Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a guide concerning the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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