Branson’s Virgin Galactic Cuts Brief Check Flight from New Mexico Spaceport By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sir Richard Branson appears on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange about to begin trading Virgin Galactic in New York


From Joey Roulette

(Reuters) -Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc aborted a test flight of its SpaceShipTwo Unity suborbital aircraft on Saturday and safely returned its pilots to Spaceport America in New Mexico after the rocket engine firing sequence failed.

Richard Branson’s space tourism company, which is preparing for commercial flights for the next year, wanted to send the air-launched Unity spaceplane up to 80 kilometers to test its cabin experience and boosters in flight.

The suborbital spacecraft was lifted from its two-hull mothership, called the White Knight 2, to an altitude of approximately 13,410 meters. It detached from the carrier aircraft at around 9:15 a.m. local time, but a live video stream appeared to show the engines firing only for a brief moment.

“The firing sequence for the rocket motor did not complete,” Virgin Galactic said on Twitter. “Vehicle and crew are in excellent shape. We have several engines ready at Spaceport America. We will check the vehicle and be back soon.”

Unity’s flight should collect critical test data necessary to advance commercial space license with the US Federal Aviation Administration, before first flying customers next year.

For $ 250,000 per ticket, passengers who signed up for the suborbital flight aboard the rocket-propelled aircraft buckle up six custom seats and look out the cabin’s 12 circular windows as they ascend approximately 60 miles above earth.

Founded in 2004 by British billionaire Branson, the company has 600 customers who have signed up for the flight and more than 400 others who have expressed an interest. Branson is expected to be on board one of the first flights.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the information contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. Therefore, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media is not responsible for any trading loss you may incur as a result of using this information.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media assumes no liability for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information contained on this website, such as data, offers, charts and buy / sell signals. Please be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading in the financial markets. This is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.

Comments are closed.