Worries About Potential Defect Delay of the Planned Virgin Galactic Mission21st Sep 2021
Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson, has announced that they plan to slightly delay the next upcoming Virgin Galactic flight. The company, which hopes to specialise in space tourism, makes the announcement after reports of a potential component defect onboard. The potential defect was brought to Virgin’s attention by an unnamed third party and is being investigated by the component supplier. The situation will be carefully reviewed and is believed to be related to components within the ship’s flight control system.
Potential Need for Repairs Pushes Back Scheduled Virgin Galactic Flight
After a successful first Virgin Galactic flight, the company had initially planned to take SpaceShipTwo back into orbit in late September or early October. However, given concerns about a potential component flaw, the Virgin Galactic flight has now been pushed back and is scheduled to take place in mid-October. Although this is a slight blow to the company’s dreams of imminent space tourism, company chief executive Michael Colglazier stressed that safety remains a top priority. The SpaceShipTwo mission, Unity 23, will go ahead as planned once all concerns have been thoroughly addressed and investigated.
Richard Branson Confirms High Demand for Space Tourism
Despite short-term delays to Virgin Galactic flight plans, Richard Branson has confirmed that there is a high demand for space tourism and that tickets for space flights are selling fast. Richard Branson made several comments along these lines while speaking about Virgin Galactic flight tests and Virgin Orbit at the 2021 Satellite Conference. Virgin Galactic has also confirmed that the delay on SpaceShipTwo’s mission is not related to the recent FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) investigation into the company.
The FAA investigation instead relates to the company’s first test mission. During the space plane’s return from this test mission, the craft flew outside of its designated airspace during its descent. This Virgin Galactic flight marked the company’s first steps towards developing the space tourism program that Richard Branson has long been planning.