Virgin Galactic’s flights to space have been delayed again due to problems with the development of a rocket motor but Richard Branson is confident flights will take off early next year.
Virgin Galactic signed a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US in May that outlines how routine space missions from the spaceport in New Mexico will be coordinated with normal air traffic controlling. Virgin confirms it’s more concerned about safety over meeting deadlines. While passengers who already pre-booked their journeys are eager to fly, Virgin Galactic confirms the flights will take-off as soon as it’s safe to do so.
The airline has been testing a “mothership” which will take the rocket-powered spaceship up to 50,000 feet and launch it into space in the Mojave Desert. Flights to space are being sold at $250,000 per person, with more than 70 individuals already signed up for the first flights.
While Virgin Galactic tinkers with its systems, its competitor SpaceX unveiled a new Dragon V2 spacecraft earlier this year which will allow passengers to fly 100,000 feet above Earth in 2016 with tickets costing £45,000 per person.