Virgin Galactic has announced they are about to perform the first suborbital flight to space this autumn. Moreover, they revealed who will fly! Want to get more? Keep reading.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Virgin Galactic (the aerospace company, founded by Richard Branson) explained in the press release that they had to restrict their ambitions regarding testing connected with the first suborbital spaceflight. However, the manufacturer believes that by the end of 2020 they will succeed in managing at least three milestones out of scheduled twenty-nine FAA milestones. The last is considered a significant process for the manufacturer to get a conclusive regulatory permit to perform flights with its clients.
In one of their interviews for the press, Virgin Galactic shared that their customers are looking forward to the opportunity to take part in the space tourism option developed by the company. With the support of investors who want to enjoy spaceflight, Virgin Galactic plans to earn approximately four hundred sixty million US dollars. By the way, at the end of August 2020, the company possessed around three hundred sixty million US dollars cash.
At the beginning of October 2020, Virgin Galactic introduced a crucial amendment to its development strategy, informing its nearest test flight to space will happen this autumn. Let’s consider all the detail of the future flight in detail!
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The First Suborbital Spaceflight Details
The company told about their first flight to space on October 16, 2020, in the interview. This long-awaited event will occur from the manufacturer’s Spaceport America network located in New Mexico. This will get Virgin Galactic a step forward to gaining the target as of bringing exploration flights as well as space tourism to life.
Despite the fact that Virgin Atlantic has not provided those concerned with the exact date of the first suborbital space flight from Spaceport America (the info is extremely confidential), the expected window for flight has been scheduled to begin at the end of October. This means the launch may occur during the first two weeks of November.
The Window for Flight and Other Preparations
In September 2020, CNBC (a reputable American television business news channel) tracked down several filings that belong to Federal Communications Commission. Those files have revealed an intention of Virgin Galactic regarding a few testing processes on the company’s spaceship called SpaceShipTwo. Besides the approximate date of the first suborbital spaceflight, the files contained quite exciting data.
Virgin Galactic told that the preparation phase involves a careful training process for pilots. During the training phase, they implement a surface-to-surface simulator, as well as its carrier mothership called VMS Eve.
The mothership is expected to deliver the SpaceShipTwo aircraft to the skies. The engineers who developed VMS Eve report that it will behave and be handled much like SpaceShipTwo. This means that the pilots for the suborbital spaceflight mission will fly it during training.
Who Will Conduct the Flight?
Let’s now reveal the intrigue regarding who is the pilot who will implement this spaceflight.
As you may know, SpaceShipTwo by Virgin Galactic has previously flown to space in 2019. That time, Beth Moses, the chief space instructor joined the other two pilots for the mission as of the manufacturer’s first crewed experimental flight.
This time, according to the official announcement of the Southwest Research Institute, a well-known planetologist Dr. Alan Stern will implement the suborbital spaceflight.
Stern’s goal during the flight is to implement the research sponsored by NASA. This involves exploration of the low light level camera (F-18 model, designed by NASA) to discover the possibility of astronomical observations to be performed effectively from the spaceship.
So, the next month seems to be fateful in identifying the future of the company regarding their place in space tourism and exploratory development on the international level. If this test flight turns out successful, Virgin Galactic will send the company’s founder Richard Branson to space at the beginning of 2021.