Space exploration is a long-term adventure. It goes through a number of tests, successes and failures. Industry experts have understood this.
Companies engaged in space exploration today are legion. Some are more exposed than others, of course. We can easily cite NASA , of course, but also more recently SpaceX , Virgin Galactic as well as Airbus or even Boeing. Virgin Galactic is very advanced, especially with its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. This one recently carried out yet another major test. Success or failure ?
Engine failure for SpaceShipTwo
The latest test of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo was unceremoniously ended. The US company revealed that the engine did not ignite during the test over Spaceport America, leaving the ship simply falling back to Earth. The ship and the crew are “doing well”, the backup engines were able to take over without any problems. Billionaire Richard Branson’s company has already promised it will try again “soon”.
At this point, it is too early to determine the cause of this test failure. We will have to wait for the results of the internal investigation to find out where the failure that prevented the engine from igniting came from. There is no doubt that the teams are already hard at work studying the smallest stages of the test, the smallest log reports and the smallest components.
Virgin Galactic will have to wait a little longer
As for the date of the next test, it could arrive very quickly. Still, this is yet another setback for Virgin Galactic. This test should have been the last before a new test phase in which the company would have included specialists in the cabin to improve the flight experience for passengers. The final touch-ups before starting a commercial service, in short. This delay is further delaying the first general public paying passengers, which could be very damaging in terms of finances for the company.
This test was also to be the first manned flight to take off from New Mexico and the very first from Spaceport America. History will therefore have to wait a little longer before writing itself! There is no doubt that the engineers at Virgin Galactic will be able to rectify the situation quickly.
Early update on flight: The ignition sequence for the rocket motor did not complete. Vehicle and crew are in great shape. We have several motors ready at Spaceport America. We will check the vehicle and be back to flight soon.
– Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) December 12, 2020