According to the firm, Virgin Galactic has postponed the upcoming SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight to investigate a potential issue that is unconnected to a current Federal Aviation Administration inquiry. A third-party supplier, which Virgin Galactic did not name, warned the firm of a probable manufacturing flaw in the flight control actuation system component, according to a statement released late September 10. Virgin stated it is inspecting the suspicious component with the seller to see if it needs to be fixed or replaced.
Owing to the checks, Virgin Galactic has indicated that the next SpaceShipTwo trip, Unity 23, will take place in the middle of October. According to the business, the mission was supposed to take place in late September or even early October.
According to the firm, the problem is unrelated to the catastrophe on the prior SpaceShipTwo trip on July 11. The FAA announced on September 2 that it was not going to permit SpaceShipTwo to fly once more until it concluded its inquiry into the incident after a study that the aircraft had flown beyond its planned area during its glide down to the runway at the Spaceport America in the New Mexico. In its release, the FAA did not provide a timeline for the investigation.
“Our rigorous, proactive, and safety-first mentality has resulted in a robust preflight preparedness program. Nothing is more essential to us than the reliability of our vehicles,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement regarding the delay. “To identify and fix these types of issues, our test flight protocols and procedures are stringent and systematic. We hope to take to the sky once more soon.”
The corporation hasn’t stated much additional about the FAA probe or this matter. During a brief video appearance at the Satellite 2021 conference on September 8, the founder of the company Richard Branson did not mention the FAA investigation, nor was he questioned about it by a moderator.
Branson was on a flight that landed safely, notwithstanding the airspace violation on July 11. In the single mention of the Virgin Galactic during a session, which was mainly about Virgin Orbit, he added, “I would love to travel again.” “It was even more extraordinary than I had anticipated. “It was a truly magical day.”
“Based on the Virgin Galactic waitlist, I guess I’ll be in my nineties before I have another chance,” remarked the 71-year-old Branson. Before announcing plans to restart ticket sales in August, the company had roughly 600 people signed up. “I’m asking them to get busy and create as most rockets as they want to,” There are a lot of people that want to go to space.”