Virgin Galactic on schedule for commercial space flights

CEO Michael Colglazier says Q2 2023 launch date 'on track'

Virgin Galactic‘s CEO Michael Colglazier says the company’s highly-anticipated and long-awaited vision of taking passengers into space is on schedule for lift-off in the near future.

Colglazier told shareholders on Tuesday that the recent enhancement of Virgin Galactic’s mothership, VMS Eve, was a success and she has rejoined the spaceship Unity back at Spaceport America.

“With our enhancement program complete and validation flights underway, we remain on track to launch commercial service in the second quarter of 2023,” he said. That latest delay was announced in August 2022.

© Virgin Galactic

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“Our near-term objective for commercial spaceline operations is to safely deliver recurring flights with our current ships while providing an unrivaled experience for private astronauts and researchers.”

Virgin Galactic is planning two or three verification flights ahead of its maiden commercial flight, which it will run in partnership with the Italian Air Force, as previously flagged by LATTE.

Once up and running, the aerospace company expects to operate space missions every month for its backlog of some 800+ customers. Tickets for Virgin Galactic’s spaceflights are priced at US$450,000 and booking reopened in February 2023 after a recent pause.

Virtuoso Chairman and CEO, Matthew Upchurch, will be among the first paying passengers to fly into space with Richard Branson’s space program.

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