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.