October 27, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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The Virgin Galaxy has inadvertently stopped test flights of its space tourism aircraft

The Virgin Galaxy has inadvertently stopped test flights of its space tourism aircraft

The company confirmed that the spacecraft carrying test pilots CJ Sturko and Dave Mackay had landed safely.

“The ignition sequence for the rocket motor has not been completed,” the company said Twitter. “The vehicle and crew are in great shape. Many motors are ready for us at Spaceport America. We will inspect the vehicle and get on board soon.”

The root cause of the problem was not immediately clear.

The mission is considered VSS Unity’s third test aircraft beyond the 50-mile mark, and is considered by the US government to be the first outdoor spacecraft. It was thought to be the first rocket-powered test flight Virgin Galactic to be held in New Mexico, where a spacecraft paid more than space $ 200 million Mostly in taxpayer money, the Virgin Galactic has been waiting almost a decade to open for business.
If all went as planned, the VSS unit would ignite its rocket motor for a minute or more as the vehicle jumped up and into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. But, in the footage taken by the space-focused publication NASASpaceflight, The engine only runs for a short time before turning off the power. Flight tracking software showed the vehicle made a return landing at Spaceport.

The company’s development program has suffered years of delays for a variety of reasons, including a test pilot, technology hangups and, more recently, the catastrophic 2014 disaster that killed the Kovid-19 epidemic.

The test flight that was attempted on Saturday was already over. It was scheduled for November, but the Virgin Galactic mission was delayed after a rise in coronavirus cases prompted the New Mexico state government to enforce new sanctions.

Virgin Galaxy Moved into New Mexico facility in May 2019. Ticket holders – who have so far refurbished the company building to include a forked lounge and other amenities ranging from $ 200,000 to 250 250,000 each to reserve seats – can use the space edge before their brief departure.

Virgin Galactic has 600 customers so far and the company hopes to resume ticket sales soon. However, the price of new tickets is expected to be more than $ 250,000 – which is already higher than the average house price in the United States – when that happens.

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Prior to this, however, the Virgin Galactic still needed to conduct another test flight, which would carry four crew members in the VSS Unity cabin. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Galaxy, said the company would also carry out a long-promised mission to take the 70-year-old entrepreneur into space before launching a wide-ranging commercial operation.