Suborbital spaceflight company Virgin Galactic laid off about 40 people earlier this month as part of a realignment of “skill sets” in the company’s workforce as it prepares to shift into commercial operations later this year.
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.
While some question whether Virgin Galactic’s latest SpaceShipTwo test flight actually went into space, a number of government officials and industry organizations have few doubts that it did.
With a first flight to the edge of space under the company’s belt, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson believes commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo could begin some time next year.
Virgin Galactic achieved a long-awaited milestone Dec. 13 when its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle performed its longest test flight to date, exceeding one altitude often used as the boundary of space.
A test flight more than a decade in the making is scheduled to take place Dec. 13 as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle is set to make its highest and fastest flight to date, one that, if all goes well, will take it beyond one boundary of space.
Virgin Galactic plans to perform the next test flight of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane as soon as Dec. 13, a flight that could be the first by the vehicle to reach at least one definition of space.
As Virgin Galactic gets closer to its first suborbital flights into space, a potential change in terminology could make it easier for the company to achieve that milestone.
Virgin Galactic’s chief executive says the company is approaching the “next phase” of the flight test program for the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle as the company’s founder predicts the company reaching space in “weeks.”
The commercial spaceflight industry has been enjoying success both on and off the launch pad this year.
Virgin Galactic’s second SpaceShipTwo set new speed and altitude records on its third powered test flight July 26, bringing the suborbital vehicle one step closer to reaching space.
Blue Origin expects to start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle “soon” and start selling tickets for commercial flights next year, a company executive said June 19.
Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit announced a set of agreements July 6 with Italian companies and the Italian Space Agency that could lead to suborbital and orbital launches from a proposed Italian spaceport.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane performed a successful test flight May 29, bringing the company one step closer to realizing its long-delayed dreams of space tourism and research flights.
Virgin Galactic’s second SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle successfully performed its first powered flight April 5, the first such test flight since a fatal crash nearly three and a half years ago.