SpaceShipTwo “Unity” on the runway after an abandoned space test on December 12, 2020.
Virgin Galactic is preparing for the next space flight attempt. The company announced on Monday that it will repeat its canceled flight test in December on February 13th.
The space tourism company said one of the main goals of the space tests was “to test the remedial actions that have been completed since … the on-board computer stopped the rocket motor from igniting.”
“The team has since performed root cause analysis, completed the necessary corrective work and conducted extensive ground tests. The next phase will be to evaluate and verify this work during a missile flight,” Virgin Galactic said in a press release.
Virgin Galactic’s shares were up 9% in premarket trading on Monday from the previous close of trading. The gain came despite being downgraded by Morgan Stanley on Monday to the same weight of overweight. In a statement to customers, analyst Adam Jonas said the share price had almost doubled in the last month.
Virgin Galactic will also pursue each of the original goals of the December flight test, “including evaluating elements of the customer’s cabin, testing the spacecraft-to-ground live-stream capability, and evaluating the improved horizontal stabilizers and flight controls during the boost phase of the In flight, “said the company.
Following the flight test, Virgin Galactic said it would “conduct a comprehensive data review” to provide “information on the next steps in the flight test program”. Prior to the canceled December flight, Virgin Galactic had expected to conduct three remaining space flight tests before launching commercial flights. The second and third space flight tests were previously planned for the first quarter of 2021.
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