Published on : Thursday, April 1, 2021
Virgin Galactic recently has declared about its latest spacecraft named VSS Imagine. It would be the first vehicle produced under a new assembly system that’s critical to the main target of the company of providing daily flights of tourism to the space.
On Tuesday, the Imagine “demonstrates progress toward efficient design and production,” the company said in a statement. The new manufacturing process will decrease maintenance and allow a quicker flight tempo as the company is keen on to “scale the business for the long-term.”
Soon the spacecraft will initiate its ground testing. The glide tests have been planned this summer at the Spaceport America facility of Virgin Galactic in New Mexico.
The shiny Imagine spacecraft has a “mirror-like” exterior coating for thermal protection, Virgin Galactic said.
To quote Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, “Today we unveiled our SpaceShip III class of vehicles, marking the beginning of the Virgin Galactic fleet. VSS Imagine and Inspire are stunning ships that will take our future astronauts on an incredible voyage to space, and their names reflect the aspirational nature of human spaceflight.”
Billionaire Richard Branson is the founder of the company. He wants to make commercial space travel hassle-free policy. It has a target of reaching 400 flights every year from New Mexico and spreading worldwide.
In its path toward customer flights, Virgin Galactic was majorly impacted by delays caused by setbacks of pandemic and electrical issues on its current spacecraft, VSS Unity.
The next test flight of the vessel is scheduled in May, after experiencing a breakdown to launch in December that disclosed the issue and led to an overhaul of some systems on the vehicle. Also, the glitches derailed a test flight planned last month.
“We are still planning and feel great about May as the next test flight,” Colglazier said. The company hasn’t detected any other issues after a thorough review of all Unity’s systems, he said.