Virgin also announced this week that two companies would manufacture parts for the Delta spaceship starting in 2023.
While battling delays in getting visitors back from space, Virgin Galactic is also planning for the future.
The business announced in news releases this week that the new class of space tourist ship for Virgin Galactic, named Delta, is coming together with a new deal to fly Axiom Space astronauts as well as contracts to secure key suppliers. Delta is expected to start operations in 2026 and may operate up to once per week.
Virgin has conducted four crewed test flights, the most recent of which took place in July 2021. Since then, supply problems resulting from the epidemic have caused Virgin to repeatedly postpone their return to space. While this was going on, rival Blue Origin had six successful commercial flights until an unmanned rocket disaster in September.
Today (Nov. 3), when the firm announces financial results after markets close, we should learn more about whether Virgin will make their updated return-to-flight objective of spring 2023. Since last year, Virgin's stock price has decreased by 90%.
Prior to the presentation of its quarterly results on November 2 and 3, Virgin unveiled a pair of partnerships that provided a sneak peek into its intentions for spaceflight, particularly how it would prepare Delta. The business had previously stated that paying tourists could board Delta as early as 2026.
To prepare for a trip to the International Orbit Station, an Axiom astronaut will use one of Virgin's next flights in the current-generation SpaceShipTwo, which launches into space after separating mid-flight from the carrier ship Eve. Following the accomplishment of Ax-1 in April, the Houston-based business has three commercial flights with SpaceX scheduled, Ax-2 through Ax-4.
According to Virgin officials(opens in new tab), "The Virgin Galactic spaceflight, likely scheduled for next year, will train an Axiom Space astronaut for an upcoming trip to orbit, while undertaking microgravity research to support the job they will do."
Two businesses will begin producing parts for Delta in 2023, according to information released this week by Virgin.
The "feathering" system, which manages re-entry, and the flight control surfaces will both be provided by Bell Textron. The wing and fuselage are being made by Qarbon Aerospace. It was not made public how much each deal was worth.
Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier stated in a statement(opens in new tab) that Delta builds are prepared to move forward, citing a pact earlier in 2022 that will see Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences construct two new motherships. Colglazier stated on Tuesday that "the key suppliers are now in place" (Nov. 2).
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Edited by: Satyavrat Singh