A fragment of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft broke off during the flight of space tourists

During a recent flight, a part of the body broke off from the Virgin Galactic carrier aircraft. We are talking about a damaged pin that is used to connect the mothership and the VSS Unity spaceplane. This problem is already being actively addressed by the company, as it may affect future missions.

The moment of separation of VSS Unity from the VMS Eve carrier aircraft. Photo: Virgin Galactic

During the inspection of the Galactic 06 post-flight mission, it was discovered that the pin had come off the pylon of the VMS Eve mothership. The company has notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about this. Despite this, the private space company claimed that the flight was safe and successful, and did not pose a threat to the crew, the carrier aircraft and the spaceplane.

On January 26, Virgin Galactic conducted a space tourist flight from Spaceport America in New Mexico. There were four space tourists on board VSS Unity. The company, founded by Richard Branson, began commercial flights in 2023, and it is actively working to attract as many private passengers as possible to suborbital flights using the VSS Unity spacecraft.

SpaceShipTwo attached to the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. Source: Virgin Galactic

The alignment pin, which fell off from the carrier aircraft, is used to align the spacecraft with the mother ship when they are connected before flight. After takeoff, the pin helps to move the resistance of the spacecraft to the pylon and the central part of the aircraft wing, however, it does not play a role after separating VSS Unity from VMS Eve. The company added that no other damage was found.

The next Galactic 07 mission is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. However, the date may change after the investigation of the damage to the pin is completed. The company hopes to quickly complete the internal investigation and continue flights. It should be noted that Virgin Galactic has already had safety problems in the past, which led to delays in commercial flights. Uncertainty now arises around the impact of this anomaly on the company’s future plans.

Earlier, we reported on how Richard Branson stopped financing Virgin Galactic.

According to virgingalactic.com

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