Virgin Galactic New Mexico Space Flight Postponed by Humanity’s Invisible Enemy

Virgin postpones New Mexico space flight 1 photo
Photo: Virgin Galactic
It seems New Mexico will have to wait a little longer before joining the very short list of American states from where people have launched into space.
Sometime this week, from Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic was supposed to send two people into space, with the goal of both testing the spacecraft, and conduct experiments on behalf of NASA. That changed after the company announced it would have to reschedule the flight.

The company cites the “new guidelines from the New Mexico Department of Health to disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state” as the reason for the delay, saying it needs to minimize its operational footprint at the facility.

‘With the health and safety of our team members in mind, and in accordance with the recent direction from the New Mexico Department of Health, we will be minimizing our New Mexico operations to the greatest degree possible,” said in a statement Michael Colglazier, CEO, Virgin Galactic.

“While these new restrictions cause us to adjust our flight schedule, we take this pause in stride and will be prepared to resume our pre-flight procedures and announce a new test flight window as soon as we can. Our team members at Virgin Galactic, our Future Astronauts, and our fans around the world remain incredibly excited for our upcoming spaceflight.”

Virgin does not say it if has any idea when the flight will take place. But when VSS Unity eventually does take off, it will become a record-setting spacecraft for one of the astronauts: CJ Sturckow will become the first human to have flown to space from three different U.S. states.

The VSS Unity is the ship that is hoped to make space tourism a reality. It can seat eight people, including the pilot and co-pilot, and was only designed to take people up to the edge of space (about 50 miles/80 km high) for short periods of time, and not actually in orbit.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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