Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic's first spaceflight from Spaceport America will launch soon

The flight will take place between November 19th and 23rd.
Mariella Moon,
November 7, 2020
7656 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

SpaceShipTwo and VMS Eve in the hangar of The Gateway to Space
Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic started preparing for the first spaceflight out of its new Spaceport America HQ in New Mexico last month. Back then, the aerospace company only said that its flight planning window will open on October 22nd, but it didn’t give a more concrete launch date. Now, Virgin Galactic has that it has decided on a launch window for the SpaceShipTwo test flight, which you can expect to take place between November 19th and 23rd.

The company bundled the announcement with the report for its financial results for the third quarter of 2020. Apparently, SpaceShipTwo will carry revenue-generating payloads as part of the NASA flight opportunities program for this particular mission. Virgin Galactic also underscored the agreement it entered to fly planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern aboard the SpaceShipTwo so he can conduct experiments in suborbital space.

Ticket sales for suborbital trips will re-open in 2021 after Richard Branson’s flight, the company said, which it’s hoping to accomplish in the first quarter of 2021. That said, it’s ending One Small Step — the program it opened to bump qualified customers to the front of the line for "firm" reservations — on December 31st. It has reached close to 900 participants as of October 31st. On the financial side of things, Virgin Galactic reported a net loss of $77 million, much higher than its $63 million net loss for the previous quarter.

While the upcoming flight will be the first out of Spaceport America, SpaceShipTwo flew to space twice in the past. As part of its preparations, the company trained its pilots using a ground-based simulator and its carrier aircraft VMS Eve, which has a very similar structure and controls to SpaceShipTwo. It also put the spacecraft through a bunch of pre—flight checks on the ground.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
7656 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
How to buy a PlayStation 5 on November 12th

How to buy a PlayStation 5 on November 12th

View
YouTube went down

YouTube went down

View
The PS5 will only be sold online on launch day

The PS5 will only be sold online on launch day

View
Honda claims it'll be the first to mass produce level 3 self-driving cars

Honda claims it'll be the first to mass produce level 3 self-driving cars

View

From around the web

Page 1 Page 1 ear icon eye icon Fill 23 text file vr