Virgin Galactic announces it is planning manned flights including commercial launch in June 2023

According to Virgin Galactic (the primary tenant at New Mexico’s taxpayer-financed Spaceport America) the company is planning a manned test flight for the end of May and the long-awaited start of commercial launches for sometime in June of 2023. Richard Branson and a test crew last flew nearly two years ago in July of 2021.

We don’t have exact dates for either launch which is somewhat hard to believe considering the announcement came out on May 8 with just three full weeks left in the month. But, their corporate website has been upgraded with other details about their plans for space and links for reservations.

While the Summer of 2023 has the potential to be a “make or break” one for the Spaceport’s lead tenant, as one space website notes, “The company has previously admitted that the current version of their spacecraft won’t be able to hit the flight cadence necessary for long-term commercial service, and that a more capable variant of the spaceplane will need to be developed if they are going to achieve weekly flights.”

We shall see if these proposed dates stick and how the craft fare.

Virgin Galactic plans test flights from Spaceport America into space