Virgin Galactic's First Space Tourism Flight Delayed (Again) to Q2 2023 Image

A companion campus is coming at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic is to thank. Due to delays with the refurbishment of its 14-year-old carrier aircraft, Virgin Galactic has decided to delay its commercial space tourism operation for an additional three months.

The company’s first scheduled flight, reported (Opens in a new window) in May, was postponed from the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023 due to supply chain and labor issues. Virgin continues work on VMS Eve (Opens in a new window) , which transports Virgin’s spacecraft to its release height of roughly 50,000 feet, is now pushing it back another quarter to the spring.

According to Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement (Opens in a new window) , “while our short-term plans now call for commercial service to launch in the second quarter of 2023, progress on our future fleet continues and many of the key components of our roadmap are now in place to scale the business in a meaningful way.”

However, not every day is cloudy. Three significant agreements, each of which advances the spaceflight business one step closer to suborbital tourism, were announced by Virgin Galactic last month.

Building two new motherships alongside Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, the company will be able to launch up to 200 rockets annually beginning in 2025.


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Virgin also announced plans for a manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, which is anticipated to open in late 2024 and construct up to six spaceships annually, as well as land for a new astronaut campus and training facility (Opens in a new window) in New Mexico, next to its major launch site, Spaceport America.

Colglazier added, referring to these partnerships as “cornerstone aspects of how we will create and operate our global Spaceline,” that “as we prepare to return to the sky, we have put in place numerous important initiatives to drive our long-term success.”

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