NASA has selected its first human-tended commercial suborbital research payload, clearing the way for the biggest advocate of such research to fly on a future Virgin Galactic mission.
Virgin Galactic has pushed the beginning of commercial flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle to no earlier than the first quarter of 2021 while announcing plans to sell additional stock to raise money.
Virgin Galactic showed off the interior of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane July 28 as the company prepares to wrap up the campaign of test flights of the vehicle and begin commercial operations.
Virgin Galactic conducted its second test flight of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle from its New Mexico spaceport June 25 and now says it is ready to resume powered flights of the spacecraft.
NASA is taking the first steps in a process that could lead to astronauts and other agency personnel flying on commercial suborbital vehicles by establishing a program office and seeking input from industry.
Virgin Galactic executives said May 5 that the suborbital spaceflight company has taken measures to resume regular operations during the coronavirus pandemic, but said they didn’t yet know its overall impact on the business.
Virgin Galactic conducted the first test flight of SpaceShipTwo from its New Mexico spaceport May 1 as the company edges closer to finally beginning commercial flights of the suborbital spaceplane.
Virgin Galactic executives suggested Feb. 25 that the beginning of commercial flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle might slip again, even as the company starts planning to resume ticket sales.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane arrived at the company’s spaceport in New Mexico Feb. 13, ready for a final series of test flights before the company starts commercial operations.
Virgin Galactic is making progress in the development of its next SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane, although the company is saying little about when its existing SpaceShipTwo will be ready to resume test flights.
As Virgin Galactic prepares to finish the test program for its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, the company says the New Mexico spaceport it will operate from is ready.
Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot believes the company will be able to go through the remainder of its SpaceShipTwo test program fairly quickly once test flights of the suborbital spaceplane resume.
As Blue Origin prepares to start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, the company’s founder says the altitude the vehicle can reach will put it at an advantage over Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
Virgin Galactic scrubbed the Feb. 20 flight test for SpaceShipTwo, the air-launched suborbital spaceplane, due to high winds in Mojave, California. The flight test is now scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22.