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Virgin Galactic delays commercial spaceflights to fourth quarter 2022


Spaceport America in New Mexico launches VMS Eve, a cargo aircraft carrying VSS Unity.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin GalacticThe company is putting off the start of commercial space tourism services until the fourth quarter of 2022. On Thursday, the company announced a restructuring of its test and development flight schedules.

This month, the space tourism company will begin refurbishing its carrier and spacecraft.

Virgin Galactic planned to start the 8-month “enhancement period” after Unity 23’s next spaceflight. However, Virgin Galactic stated that a test it had done recently “flagged an increase in strength margins for certain materials used in modifications to specific joints” and will need “further physical examination.”

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, a spacecraft built by Virgin Galactic and VMS Eve are in progress. The process will make mid-2022 possible for the Unity 23 to fly.

Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier released a statement saying that “The resequencing and enhancement period of Unity 23 flights underscores our safety first procedures, provides the fastest path to commercial service and is the right strategy for our business, our customers, and our business,”

Virgin Galactic’s shares dropped by as much as 8 percent in trading after-hours from $24.06. At Thursday’s close the stock had risen just 1% to 2021, which is basically unchanged for the year.

After the enhancement, Unity 23 will take place. Virgin Galactic stated that this process is designed to “further increase margins that will allow improved reliability, durability, and lower maintenance requirements.”

Also, the renovation period was expected to start in September. the Federal Aviation Administration had grounded Virgin Galactic for most of last monthInvestigate a mishap on the plane that transported company founder Sir Richard BransonThe FAA cleared Virgin Galactic to return to flight after completing the investigation. After completing an investigation, the FAA granted Virgin Galactic permission to fly again.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.