Virgin Galactic set to start powered flight exams, aims for 2018 commercial tours

Virgin Galactic is resuming powered experiments of its spaceplane after a regrettable accident with its test vehicle SpaceShipTwo resulted in the death of co-pilot Michael Alsbury in 2014. The information comes via Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, who shared the word speaking to Bloomberg.

After current glide-only tests wrap up, powered experiments will begin at a gait of one every three weeks, contacting higher altitudes until eventually climbing to the edge of opening by November or December of this year. If all is all very well, Branson himself is set to be among the first tourists to infinite in 2018 around mid-year, and then by the end of 2018 he hopes to begin offering full commercial-grade flights for passengers.

This is the most weve been hearing the latest developments in Virgin Galactics commercial-grade fare plane program since the accident happened in 2014, and Branson tells Bloomberg that despite delays and the onset of new challengers in the room, including Jeff Bezos Blue Origin and Elon Musks SpaceX, theyll still never be able to build enough spaceships to fulfill demand.

Virgin Galactic now includes Virgin Orbit, a small satellite launch and logistical business, and its most recent unpowered research of its VSS Unity aircraft was a success, paving the practice for flights with fuel on board, and then eventually powered flights as well.

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