Virgin Galactic began preparing for its first space flight last month from its new headquarters at the U.S. spaceport in New Mexico. At the time, the space company said only that its flight planning window would open on October 22, but did not give a more specific launch date. Now, Virgin Galactic has revealed that it has decided on a launch window for the SpaceShipTwo test flight, which will take place between November 19 and 23.
Virgin Galactic’s first space flight will be launched at a US spaceport
Virgin Galactic tied the news to its third-quarter 2020 financial results. Obviously, they hope the news will boost earnings as part of NASA’s mission-specific mission. Virgin Galactic also highlighted its agreement to have planetary scientist Dr Alan Stern fly spaceShipTwo so he could experiment in suborbital space.
The company said ticket sales for suborbital travel would reopen in 2021 after Richard Branson’s flight, which it hopes to complete in the first quarter of 2021. That said, it will end the One Small Step project on December 31. It opens a program that promotes qualified customers to the front of the OK booking team. As of 31 October, the number of participants in the project had reached nearly 900. On the financial front, Virgin Galactic reported a net loss of $77m, up from a net loss of $63m in the previous quarter.
SpaceShipTwo has flown into space twice in the past, although the upcoming flight will be the first to fly out of a U.S. spaceport. As part of its preparations, the company trained pilots using ground simulators and its carrier, VMS Eve, which has a very similar structure and control style to SpaceShipTwo. It also allowed the spacecraft to conduct some pre-flight inspections on the ground.