Virgin Galactic promises to fly more often

Virgin Galactic reports that starting in 2026, it will be able to make suborbital tourist flights much more often than it does now. Its new Delta spaceplanes will be able to operate three flights a week. However, there are circumstances that may interfere with these plans.

Virgin Galactic prepares to increase the number of flights. Source:

Virgin Galactic’s grand plans

On May 7, Virgin Galactic released its profit and loss statement. There, among other things, it shared grandiose plans for the future. Starting from 2026, it promises to perform 125 suborbital tourist flights per year. Thus, up to 750 people will be able to be taken to the edge of space.

Virgin Galactic plans to achieve all these plans by launching the operation of its new Delta spaceplane, which is to replace Unity. It is expected that two such vehicles will be ready by that time, which will allow launching three times a week. This is 50 percent more often than previously planned.

The cost of a suborbital flight will be $600,000. This should provide the company with a profit of 450 million, and such a result will mean the profitability of the company. According to its representatives, this should change everything that has happened so far.

As before, spaceplanes will launch from the Eve carrier aircraft of the WhiteKnightTwo type. It has been in operation since 2008, but has already undergone several upgrades. Therefore, engineers are confident that it will be able to perform three flights a week. It is planned to replace it, but it will not rise into the sky earlier than in 2028.

Company’s problems

However, there are a number of circumstances that make Virgin Galactic’s optimistic plans questionable. Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing, was selected to develop Delta back in 2022. It was expected that the new spaceplane would make its first flight in 2025. However, a year later, all developments were stopped.

In March, Boeing sued Virgin Galactic, accusing it of not paying for development services. The amount of financial claims is $26.4 million. In addition, the case involves illegally appropriated intellectual property.

In response, Virgin Galactic filed a counterclaim, and the two companies are currently in a state of legal warfare. However, Richard Branson’s representatives say that this is a trifle, and it will not affect their launch plans in any way.

Meanwhile, Unity prepares for a new flight. It is already known that it will be its last and that the seat price will be $800,000. But the exact date is still unknown. It is reported that this will happen no earlier than June 8.

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