The chief executive of Blue Origin said Oct. 2 it was increasingly unlikely the company would start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle by the end of this year as it ensures the vehicle is safe enough.
Virgin Galactic signed a contract Oct. 2 with the Italian Air Force to fly a set of research payloads, and three people, on a future SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceflight.
A reusable suborbital rocket developed by Exos Aerospace suffered a loss of attitude control seconds after liftoff on a test flight June 29, but the rocket was still able to glide safely back to Earth.
Blue Origin successfully launched its New Shepard suborbital vehicle on its latest test flight May 2, a flight that the company says brings it one step closer to flying humans later this year.
Blue Origin plans to conduct the latest test flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle May 2 as the company, and others in the industry, seek ways to allow NASA-funded researchers to fly with their payloads on such missions.
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.
The founder of Virgin Galactic says he now expects to fly on the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle around the middle of this year after a series of test flights starting in the next several weeks.
Blue Origin expects to start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle early this year, but has yet to start selling tickets or even establish a ticket price for future commercial flights.
Blue Origin plans to conduct the next test flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle Dec. 18 as the company moves closer to flying people into space.