A delay in the next Virgin Galactic flight due to a potential component defect

A delay in the next Virgin Galactic flight due to a potential component defect

Virgin Galactic is further postponing its next SpaceShipTwo subocular flight in order to check a likely concern. The firm says it is not related to a continuing Federal Aviation Administration inquiry.

In a statement published late on 10th September, Virgin Galactic says that a third-party supplier told the company of a probable production fault in a flight control inclination system element. Virgin says it is performing inspections with the supplier to verify if the suspect component requires replacement or repairs.

Due to the inspections, Virgin Galactic says the earliest it would perform the next SpaceShipTwo mission, known as Unity 23, mid-October. The firm had earlier stated the mission would take place between late September and early October.

The problem, the company adds, is not in relation to the occurrence on the previous SpaceShipTwo flight July 11. Following a report that the vehicle had hovered outside of its scheduled airspace. This is during its float back to the landing field at Spaceport America in New Mexico. The FAA say on 2nd September that it would not permit SpaceShipTwo to fly again until it completes its examination into the incident. The FAA offers no schedule for that assessment in its declaration.

“We have a strong pre-flight readiness methodology that is deep-rooted in our following culture –

  • Thorough
  • Proactive
  • Safety-first

There is nothing more significant to us than the reliability of our vehicles,” says Michael Colglazier. Michael is the chief executive of Virgin Galactic. “Our test flight processes and procedures are rigorous and structured. This is to identify and resolve these types of concerns. We look forward to taking to the skies again soon.”

The firm says little else about the FAA inquiry or this issue. Company founder Richard Branson, appearing by video in a brief session of the Satellite 2021 conference on 8th September. He did not take up the FAA inquiry nor was he asked about it by the administrator.


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