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Virgin Galactic revealed that it plans to conduct four-hour test flights of the spacecraft’s carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo scheduled for October 1 and October 7.
British spaceflight company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) is set to fly its founder Sir Richard Branson after the success of its two scheduled test flights. The spacecraft company which conducted its last spacecraft test flight back in February 2019 with one crew member, Beth Moses will be conducting the next flight with two crew members on board.
The first of the two scheduled flights for the Spacecraft Two System is planned for October 22, according to documents the company filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday. The test flight will be an upgrade from the February 2019 test flight as it will have two crew members on board and will be the company’s first from the company’s operating base at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
As CNBC reported, A Virgin Galactic spokesperson confirmed the filing’s accuracy but noted that the October 22 date marks the beginning of a flight window, so the launch may happen in the days following. With the success recorded, the company will plan another spaceflight test which will have four “mission specialists” inside the cabin. After this, Virgin Galactic will be set to mark the beginning of its commercial space travel with the flying of Sir Branson on board.
In its proposed schedule of events, Virgin Galactic revealed in its filing with the Federal Communications Commission that it plans to conduct four-hour test flights of the spacecraft’s carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo, scheduled for October 1 and October 7.
Virgin Galactic’s Branson Dotting All Is and Crossing All Ts
The operations of Virgin Galactic under the leadership of Sir Richard Branson have been all geared up in its bid to commercialize space travel. In an emphatic statement towards this drive, the company announced the ascension of Michael Colglazier as the company’s new CEO. The company also appointed George Whitesides as its Chief Space Officer.
The appointment of Michael Colglazier was predicated upon his extensive years of experience helping to develop and grow a consumer-oriented multi-billion dollar business for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). Commenting on the ascension of Michael Colglazier as the new Chief executive for Virgin Galactic, Sir Branson said that he believes Michael’s long and distinguished career at one of the world’s leading customer experience brands provides a natural fit with Virgin’s culture as well as Galactic’s requirements as it prepares for commercial service.
A major uptick in Virgin Galactic’s preparations for the commercialization of its space travels came back in August when the company joined hands with British aerospace giant Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC to develop a Mach 3 high-speed supersonic travel aircraft. The two companies will work together “in designing and developing engine propulsion technology for high-speed commercial aircraft.”
As the world anticipates the announcement of Virgin Galactic’s ambitious commercial spacecraft, the recent upticks have helped to correct the loss in the stock price from Friday’s 3.75% loss. Currently, the company’s stock is up by 0.63% in after-hours trading. It is expected that the stock activity will show more bullish upticks as the days draw near for the scheduled space flight tests.