Yet another delay for Virgin Galactic

In yet another sign that Virgin Galactic may simply never make it to its goal of manned space tourism launches out of taxpayer-financed Spaceport America, the company has once again pushed back its planned launch schedule. While the company claims the latest delay will ‘only’ push space tourism flights back to the 2nd quarter of 2023, according to Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, “the company now expects those flights (on its Imagine craft) to begin no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2023.”

The reason for the latest delay is even more troubling with Colglaziier saying, The “most acute” issue was work on the central wing section of the plane, where workers were replacing the pylon to which SpaceShipTwo is attached. There are differences between the designs for the plane and what was actually built.

If this doesn’t sound like the kind of problem that can be easily resolved or the kind of issue that should be happening more than a decade into the Spaceport’s existence, you likely see why this latest delay should be of concern.

Spaceport America confirms new tenant without further information

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2 Replies to “Yet another delay for Virgin Galactic”

  1. The problems are with the VMS Eve, the radically different plane which carries the spacecraft to launch altitude. This plane was designed and built by the legendary Burt Rutan, as a one-off prototype to see if this unique design would work. Burt said at the time this specific prototype plane should never be used for passenger service – if the design worked, an entirely new plane based on the concept should be designed and built.
    But Virgin Galactic persists in rebuilding, patching, scrimping to keep this one plane flying. It’s not right.
    At the same time, Virgin has no space plane at all ready for service. They own just one prototype which has been patched and modified and fixed after many problems. They need at least eight space planes to support the operational tempo they claim necessary for financial success and they have no new design, no fabrication to build even one more, and no money to boot.
    This whole operation is a complete scam, as far as I can see. They are running around madly sending out press releases over and over – but the only thing they are really working on is the price of stock in SPCE which has been manipulated wildly to the enrichment of the founders.
    And also note that Virgin has arrangements to fly from Dubai and other parts of the world.
    And also note that Blue Origin is actually flying people to “Space” on a regular basis from their own spaceport east of El Paso – they’re just doin’ it.
    Spaceport America has no foreseeable future. Rockets cannot be launched to orbit there because the spent first stages have nowhere to land. Spin Launch has direct plans to build their full-scale launcher, if they ever do, on the West Coast – NOT here.
    Virgin Galactic will never fly again at all, is my bet, and surely not in the numbers predicted for the Spaceport.
    And also note that Spaceport America, “America’s first purpose-built spaceport” was purpose-built for Virgin Galactic and thereby is, in fact, just a small airport with a gigantic runway and a small hangar. There is, in fact, nothing “Spaceport” about it.
    The taxpayers been had – we need to end the bleeding, the lying, the hypocrisy and use what money we can recover and not pay in the future for better things.
    Thanks for the chance to comment –

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