After months of preparation, Virgin Galactic might finally be able to do its first rocket-powered test flight from New Mexico’s Spaceport America between 19 and 23 November.
Since its move to Spaceport America, the company has been limited to gliding duties and hasn’t been to space since 2019. If the testing goes well, the powered flight should become a precursor to the much-delayed flights of paying passengers.
Following this, the company is already planning out its second spaceship for 2021 as well as re-opening ticket sales in the same year.
Similarly, after the delay of its Orion spacecraft, NASA is getting closer to the finish line as the capsule and the European ATV-derived service module got near to the assembly-complete milestone. Indeed, panels were attached to the service module last week, aiming to protect its solar array wings during the launch.
Next, there is the installation of a forward bay cover in order to secure key hardware before engineers can prepare the spacecraft for a journey assembly with the first SLS rocket and the first Artemis flight.