Scotland-based launch startup Skyrora is focused on making a first orbital launch attempt late next year, building on experience from a suborbital attempt in Iceland.
A problem with Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle caused an in-flight abort a minute after liftoff Sept. 12, causing a capsule filled with payloads but not people to fire its launch abort motor and parachute to a safe landing.
Virgin Galactic announced July 6 it signed an agreement with a Boeing subsidiary to build two new aircraft that will be used as launch platforms for its next-generation suborbital spaceplanes.
Virgin Galactic is again postponing the start of commercial service of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane from late 2022 to early 2023, blaming the latest delay on supply chain and labor issues.
Virgin Galactic executives said Feb. 22 that they remain on schedule to begin commercial human suborbital missions before the end of the year but acknowledged it will take several years for the company to become profitable.
Virgin Galactic executives said they’ve seen strong interest from customers as the company restarts sales of tickets on its suborbital vehicles, even though those customers may have an extended wait until they fly.
Virgin Galactic will postpone a SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceflight that had been scheduled for this month, electing to instead immediately begin an extended maintenance period for the spaceplane and its carrier aircraft that will further delay the start of commercial flights.
The FAA said Sept. 29 that it completed its investigation into a problem on Virgin Galactic’s most recent SpaceShipTwo flight, allowing the company to resume flights of the suborbital spaceplane.
Virgin Galactic is further delaying its next SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight in order to check a potential issue the company says is unrelated to an ongoing FAA investigation.
Blue Origin launched a New Shepard suborbital vehicle Aug. 25 on a mission carrying research and educational payloads as the company prepares for its next crewed flight.
Blue Origin will conduct its next New Shepard suborbital mission Aug. 25 with a set of research payloads, but not people, on board on the vehicle’s first flight under a revised launch license.
China conducted a clandestine first test flight of a reusable suborbital vehicle Friday as a part of development of a reusable space transportation system.
Virgin Galactic has signed an agreement to fly a private researcher on a future suborbital flight, part of efforts diversify its business beyond space tourism.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo made its first flight to space in more than two years May 22, completing the first in a series of four suborbital flights planned by the company over the next several months.
Virgin Galactic will attempt its next SpaceShipTwo suborbital test flight as soon as May 22 after resolving concerns about the maintenance of its carrier aircraft.
Virgin Galactic said May 10 that while it believes it corrected a problem with its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane that aborted a test flight five months ago, the resumption of those test flights could be further delayed by a problem with the plane that carries SpaceShipTwo aloft.
Blue Origin completed another test flight of its New Shepard vehicle April 14, putting the company on the verge of finally flying people.
A test flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle, scheduled for as soon as April 14, will be a dress rehearsal for long-awaited crewed flights.