Major milestones for Virgin Galactic fleet production

Next SpaceShipTwo moves a step closer to testing

A few milestones were achieved this week at Virgin Galactic, which has bonded the fuselage and cabin of its next spaceship to the completed wing assembly. In addition, the two tail booms have been mated to the spaceship’s rear feather flap assembly. The completion of these two projects brings assembly of the next SpaceShipTwo, planned to enter service after VSS Unity, a major step forward.

Virgin Galactic said these latest milestones, the part fabrication of the wing, fuselage, cabin, nose and feather flap primary structures, is now complete for the second commercial spaceship. In addition, the majority of systems integration for the wing is complete, as well as the build of the cabin crew station installation.

Richard Branson overlooks production at FAITH (Final Assembly Integration and Test Hangar) in Mojave | Image Credit: Virgin Galactic/Greg Rose
Richard Branson overlooks production at FAITH (Final Assembly Integration and Test Hangar) in Mojave | Image Credit: Virgin Galactic/Greg Rose

SpaceShipTwo vehicles are assembled in a modular fashion, with the cabin, fuselage, wing and feather assemblies built in parallel.

Virgin Galactic’s development and manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, is behind the build and assembly of the company’s fleet of five spaceships and two carrier aircraft for the Virgin Galactic operation in New Mexico.

VSS Unity continues to progress through its comprehensive ground and flight testing program, and is now preparing for its move to Spaceport America in New Mexico.

SpaceShipTwo next | Image credit: Virgin Galactic
The next SpaceShipTwo | Image credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic’s development and manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, is behind the build and assembly of the company’s fleet of five spaceships and two carrier aircraft for the Virgin Galactic operation in New Mexico.

VSS Unity continues to progress through its comprehensive ground and flight testing program, and is now preparing for its move to Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Enrico Palermo, President of The Spaceship Company said: “Our passionate and talented team has made great progress on the next SpaceShipTwo. Seeing VSS Unity adjacent to the assembly of the next vehicle as well as the cabin of our third spaceship makes it very clear that we are building a fleet of remarkable spaceplanes for commercial service.”

“It is exciting to imagine these two vehicles operating shoulder-to-shoulder from Spaceport America in New Mexico,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company. “We have a strong block design which we believe we can replicate to build the remainder of the fleet, continuing our march toward commercial service.”

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