One giant leap for Virgin Galactic (Picture: Image by Mars Scientific)

Virgin Galactic is making one giant leap as they prepare for their first commercial space flight after facing some challenges over the years.

The company, owned by the billionaire Richard Branson, is sending three passengers from the Italian Air Force and National Research Council into space on the Galactic 01 mission. They are set to be accompanied by three Virgin Galactic crew members.

The purpose of the 90-minute suborbital flight is to ‘conduct a series of suborbital science experiments’, and it will be live-streamed across the world from 3pm BST.

Virgin Galactic is also selling tickets for future commercial space flights at $450,000 (£356,130) each, with another launch already scheduled for early August.

Follow’s live rolling coverage of the launch as it happens.