Third Trial a Bust for Virgin Galactic as it Aims to Promote Space Tourism

21st Dec 2020
Virgin Galactic Spacecraft

Richard Branson is an eager advocate for space tourism, which he intends to offer clients through his Virgin Galactic enterprise. So far, the company has attempted three times to launch their spacecraft, however each mission has been unsuccessful. 

The latest attempt saw Virgin Galactic land a spacecraft safely back on earth after its engine failed. Onboard was a crew, who all sustained no injuries, despite the mission not going as planned. 

Currently, Virgin Galactic, owned by Richard Branson, operates in New Mexico at a taxpayer-funded facility. The goal that’s long been its mission is to launch space tourism and send visitors to space regularly. He believes space should be accessible to all who can afford the cost of the trip. 

Every person who can pay Virgin Galactic $250,000 will get the chance to see space soon. Richard Branson himself intends to be one of the visitors to orbit once the trials are successful. 

What Went Wrong with the Latest Virgin Galactic Space Plane Launch?

The recent test saw the engine fail by not completing the ignition sequence. The result was a lack of power supplied to the motor. Still, no harm came to the crew on the craft, and they were all in great shape after the failed attempt. 

Rather than using a vertical launch pad, Virgin Galactic uses a carrier craft to transport people into the sky via a horizontal vehicle launch.

Once the carrier craft took off, ignition occurred, followed by a flash that immediately went out. After that, the crew on board had no choice but to turn around and land back at the New Mexico desert spaceport. 

The crew onboard the spacecraft included two pilots. On this trial, the goal was to enter the space threshold as per the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) without entering orbit. However, the engine was active for only a moment then shut off, forcing the pilots to abort the trial and turn around. 

For Virgin Galactic, regardless of the success of the mission, it’s a step in the right direction as it aspires to further its goal of space tourism for all.

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