Ahead of Space Tourism: Virgin Galactic Schedules New Test Flight for October 22nd


Last updated on May 1st, 2023 at 08:09 pm

Ahead of Space Tourism: Virgin Galactic Schedules New Test Flight for October 22nd

According to documents that Virgin Galactic filed with the FCC on Tuesday, it plans to conduct its next crewed space flight on October 22. The mission will be the first of two that the space tourism company planned to complete testing of its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, and is expected to carry only two test pilots.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic said last month that it will have four “flight technicians” in the cockpit for its second test flight. If both test flights are successful, Virgin Galactic expects founder Sir Richard Branson to fly in the first quarter of 2021, a milestone designed to kick-start commercial tourism.

A Virgin Galactic spokesman confirmed the accuracy of the data but noted that October 22 marks the start of the flight window, so the launch could take place in the coming days. According to Virgin Galactic in the published documentation, before the space flight on October 22, it is planned to conduct four-hour test flights of the two-body aircraft carrier WhiteKnightTwo (the proper name of the first and so far only model is VMS Eve), and these flights are scheduled for October 1 and 7.

Virgin Galactic’s next space flight will be the first to be flown from the company’s operating base at Spaceport America in New Mexico. It will also be Virgin Galactic’s first space flight since February 2019, when the company launched Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses as the first passenger on its spacecraft.

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