Virgin Galactic has updated their flight test program, with a flight window opening on February 13, 2021 for a rocket-powered test of the SpaceShip Two Unity. The test window will allow flight opportunities throughout February and Unity will be crewed by two pilots.
On Monday (February 1, 2021), Virgin Galactic announced a flight test program update, with the flight test window for a rocket-powered test of SpaceShip Two Unity opening on February 13, 2021. The test window will allow test opportunities throughout February and the flight will be crewed by two pilots and research payloads as part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities program. Pre-flight operations are currently underway at the company’s Spaceport America in New Mexico, including preparation for the vehicles, pilots, teams and facilities, with a core focus on safety. Additionally, the Virgin Galactic Pilots Corps has completed two flights with the mothership, VMS Eve, for routing pilot proficiency training.
In Monday’s announcement, Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier, said,
“We are pleased to be able to get back to the skies and continue our flight test program. I would like to thank our team for their continued hard work and diligence in working towards this important milestone for Virgin Galactic.”
The upcoming flight will test the remedial work that has been completed since the December 12, 2020 flight, where the onboard computer halted the ignition of the rocket motor. The team has since completed a root cause analysis, implemented the corrective work and carried out extensive ground testing. The flight will incorporate all the previous objectives including evaluation of the customer cabin, testing livestream capability from the spaceship to the ground, and assessing the upgraded horizontal stabilizer and flight controls during the boost phase of flight. In accordance with company and state COVID-19 regulations, the test will be conducted by essential personnel only and without onsite media.
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, pioneering spaceflight for researches and individuals, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. The company is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique and transformative experience.
Source: Virgin Galactic