Virgin Galactic’s First Spaceflight on Dec. 13, 2018
Source: Virgin Galactic
Space tourism enterprise Virgin Galactic on Wednesday stated it remains on track to conduct its next test spaceflight in the coming weeks.
“We expect our first spaceflight from Spaceport America to occur later this fall and we are pleased to confirm that we are still on track to meet this timeframe,” the firm stated in a weblog publish.
Virgin Galactic final month stated in an FCC submitting that the window for the next spaceflight was deliberate to open on Oct. 22, with test flights of the spacecraft’s provider plane scheduled for Oct. 1 and Oct. 7. The firm clarified on Wednesday that, “although preparations are going well, we are not quite at the stage where we can confirm specific planned flight dates for either” the test flights or spaceflight. Virgin Galactic stated that it “will share updates for launch dates closer to the launch window being confirmed.”
Shares of Virgin Galactic had been down about 3% in noon buying and selling from its earlier shut of $21.81 earlier than the announcement.
Additionally, the next spaceflight shall be its first from the firm’s working base at Spaceport America in New Mexico. It may even be Virgin Galactic’s first spaceflight since February 2019, when the firm launched chief astronauts coach Beth Moses as the spacecraft’s first test passenger.
The firm introduced that the test flight will carry three analysis payloads underneath NASA’s Flight Opportunities program.
The Southwest Research Institute additionally introduced on Wednesday that planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern shall be certainly one of the first to fly on a yet-to-be-scheduled Virgin Galactic mission, accompanying a payload of NASA-funded science experiments.
“This is the first selection of a private-sector researcher to fly with NASA funding on commercial vehicles,” Stern stated in an announcement. “Going to work in space myself for the first time after having spent so many years sending machines there to do the research for me is going to be a major career highlight, and something I am honored to be selected for.”
Virgin Galactic Michael Colglazier stated in an announcement to CNBC that he’s “excited to see NASA has embraced the ‘human-tended’ market through its successful Flight Opportunities Program, and we have strong evidence of the global demand for suborbital research flight, reflected in our recently signed contract with the Italian Air Force.”
“The announcement made today by NASA and the Southwest Research Institute is the beginning of a new and bigger opportunity for the role of suborbital spaceflight in space-based research,” Colglazier added.
Subscribe to CNBC PRO for unique insights and evaluation, and dwell enterprise day programming from round the world.