Virgin Galactic completed a successful spaceflight on Saturday as a sign of progress for the Richard Branson-based space travel company after a series of flight delays.
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity reached a height of 89.2 kilometers before returning the two New Mexico pilots to the runway, the company said, marking its first successful flight in two years. The spacecraft also conducted research experiments funded by Nasa.
Saturday’s start brought Virgin Galactic closer to its goal of launching a space commercial flight in 2022 as it competes with FFF Bezos Blue origin և Elon Musk SpaceX: in the fledgling market for business.
Virgin Galactic has encountered several failures, including a fatal accident In 2014, on the way to commercial space tourism. The start of this weekend was originally scheduled for December, but the company canceled the flight due to problems with electromagnetic disturbances.
In March, one of Virgin Galactic’s biggest supporters, technology investor Chamat Palihapitiya, sold the rest of his personal assets to the company for about $ 200 million.
Palihapitiya, which still indirectly owns shares in a special purpose acquisition company used by the Virgin Galactic community, said it continued to support the company ջանք’s efforts to direct revenue to climate initiatives.
Shares of Virgin Galactic slipped about two-thirds from its $ 62.80 peak in February, giving the company a market capitalization of $ 5.1 billion. Shares returned later this week after Virgin Galactic announced a test flight on Saturday.
Virgin Galactic plans to complete “these three test flights before it opens to the public next year”, leaving Blue Origin behind in the civilian space race. Sir Richard is expected to take part in the second launch.
Blue Origin recently launched its first commercial space flight pilot application, drawing a High offer From $ 2.8 million.
The launch, scheduled for July 20, will be the first commercial flight through the Karman, the internationally recognized end of the earth’s atmosphere and outer space. The Virgin Galactic test flight crossed the standard US space border.
Last year, SpaceX became the first private company to orbit people *.
A spokeswoman said Virgin Galactic had received a $ 85 million deposit after selling $ 200,000 worth of tickets for future flights.
*This story has been modified to clarify that SpaceX was the first company to orbit humans rather than space.