Virgin Galactic to Delay Commercial Space Travel Service, Won’t Conduct Further Test Flights This Year

Virgin Galactic stated on Thursday it’s delaying its business area journey service to the fourth quarter of 2022 and won’t conduct one other deliberate check flight this yr.

Virgin Galactic stated “business service is now anticipated to start in This fall 2022.” Shares within the firm fell 13 p.c in afterhours buying and selling.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on September 2 had barred Virgin Galactic from flying its SpaceShipTwo pending completion of a report into the flight of the Virgin Galactic rocket airplane that carried British billionaire Richard Branson to the sting of area.

Branson was amongst six Virgin Galactic workers who took half within the July flight, hovering greater than 50 miles (80km) into area.

The FAA on September 29 closed its mishap investigation into the July 11 Virgin Galactic Unity 22 launch, which deviated from assigned airspace on descent, and lifted a grounding order it had imposed earlier.

Virgin Galactic had stated in September it was planning one other SpaceShipTwo flight from New Mexico, Unity 23, pending technical checks and climate. The corporate stated final month the earliest it anticipated “to open its flight window for Unity 23 is mid-October.”

However Virgin Galactic on Thursday stated it is going to now start its deliberate enhancement programme first and can conduct the Unity 23 check flight after this work is full and earlier than beginning business service.

The enhancement programme is designed to enhance car efficiency and flight-rate functionality.

The corporate stated on Thursday one latest laboratory-based check “flagged a doable discount within the power margins of sure supplies used to change particular joints.”

The corporate added the “new lab check knowledge has had no affect on the automobiles, our check flight protocols have clearly outlined power margins, and additional evaluation will assess whether or not any further work is required to maintain them at or above established ranges.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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