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SPCE Down 3% as Virgin Galactic Postpones Its Next Spaceflight Test

UTC by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
SPCE Down 3% as Virgin Galactic Postpones Its Next Spaceflight Test
Photo: Virgin Galactic / Facebook

The move to delay the proposed spaceflight test by Virgin Galactic (SPCE) was rooted in its culture of putting its crew and passenger’s safety first.

American spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) is facing a slight delay in its roadmap as its next spaceflight test with the Italian Air Force, scheduled for the end of this month has been postponed. As announced by the company, the test flight, dubbed Unity 23 will no longer hold until mid-October.

“During preparation for the Unity 23 test flight, a third-party supplier recently flagged a potential manufacturing defect in a component of the flight control actuation system that they supply to Virgin Galactic,” the firm said in the announcement, detailing the cause of the delay. “At this point, it is not yet known whether the defect is present in the Company’s vehicles and what, if any, repair work may be needed. Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with Virgin Galactic’s established safety procedures, the Company is in the process of conducting inspections in partnership with the vendor.”

Virgin Galactic has advanced in its space tests and it recently flew some civilians including founder Sir Richard Branson to the edge of space back in July. Speaking of the feat, Sir Branson said “I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, and honestly nothing could prepare you for the view of Earth from space”

Adding that the mission of the company is to “make space more accessible to all at all. The mission statement that I wrote inside my spacesuit was to turn the dream of space travel into a reality for my grandchildren … and for many people who are alive today, for everybody.”

However, the test flight saw the VSS Unity spacecraft deviate from its intended flight in the test, an event that has drawn the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company in its announcement said the postponement is not connected to the FAA issue.

SPCE Space Flight Test Delay: Putting Safety First

The move to delay the proposed spaceflight test by Virgin Galactic (SPCE) was rooted in its culture of putting its crew and passenger’s safety first.

“We have a robust pre-flight readiness approach that is rooted in our thorough, proactive and safety-first culture. There is nothing more important to us than the integrity of our vehicles. Our test flight processes and procedures are rigorous and structured to identify and resolve these types of issues. We look forward to taking to the skies again soon,” said Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic.

The caution has however not pacified investors who sold off some of the company’s stock following the delay. After recording a 2.02% close on Friday, SPCE is currently trading at $24.42, atop a loss of 2.94%.

The company said, “further update and specific flight window will be shared once the inspection is complete, in coordination with the Italian Air Force.”

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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