An Update on SpaceShipTwo

SpaceShipTwo glides to a landing during a test flight on June 26. (Credit: Virgin Galactic/Chris Van Pelt)
SpaceShipTwo glides to a landing during a test flight on June 26. (Credit: Virgin Galactic/Chris Van Pelt)

An update on SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic’s Mark Butler:

The Las Cruces-based Butler said Virgin Galactic has big plans for 2016, including the introduction of a new spaceship. He said Virgin Galactic hopes to debut the spaceship on Feb. 19 in California and begin testing again. The company may also perform test launches in New Mexico this year, as the goal is to start launching people into space in 2018.

As launching commercial flights into space becomes more of a reality, Butler said the company plans on shifting more of its operations to New Mexico. He said Virgin Galactic has 600 employees, most of whom are based in California where the company is manufacturing and testing its spaceships. There is a team of about 20 people based in Las Cruces, but Butler said the company plans to move 100 to 120 of its employees to the city in the coming years.

Read the full story.

SpaceShipTwo Test Flights in Late 2016?

The second SpaceShipTwo under construction. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
The second SpaceShipTwo under construction. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Immediately after the fatal crash of SpaceShipTwo last October, Virgin Galactic vowed to have a second spacecraft ready for testing within about six months.  As the six month anniversary of Mike Alsbury’s was marked last week, it is clear it will take a while before flights resume. In fact, one Virgin Galactic official indicated flight tests might not occur until late 2016.

The company marked the anniversary of the fatal flight with an update on its website.
(more…)