It is tomorrow, Saturday May 22, 2021, that Virgin Galactic will retry an experimental flight at very high altitude with its VSS Unity.
This is a crucial operation for Virgin Galactic. The American company is scheduled to carry out a new manned test flight at very high altitude tomorrow with its space shuttle VSS Unity. Last December, a similar attempt had to be aborted after the detection of a problem with the on-board computer. It is thus necessary to go back in February 2019 to see one of their shuttles rise to a very high altitude. At the time, the aircraft had managed to exceed a speed of Mach 3.04, and an altitude of 89.8 km. The company has since carried out several other test flights, but all were carried out at much lower altitudes, around 15 km.
The next rocket-powered test flight of VSS Unity will be conducted on May 22nd from Spaceport America, New Mexico, pending weather and technical checks. https://t.co/ZxuoZuBmJz pic.twitter.com/EiZ8oBLEME
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) May 20, 2021
Pass the suborbital course
The objective of tomorrow will therefore be crucial for the company, since it will above all be a question of succeeding in exceed the symbolic course of 100 km altitude, convention which delimits the atmosphere of space. If Virgin Galactic manages to successfully carry out its suborbital flight project (without putting into orbit), this could considerably accelerate the plans of the firm, which hopes to transport its first tourists into space by 2022. Before being able to open its services to the general public, the competitor of SpaceX and Blue Origin must first carry out four test flights, tomorrow’s being the first.
How to follow the launch?
See you tomorrow, Saturday May 22, 2021 to follow the launch of VSS Unity live. In its message published yesterday on social networks, Virgin Galactic specifies that the takeoff will be in the United States, from the company’s Spaceport located in New Mexico. The exact time has not yet been confirmed., since the latter will probably depend on weather conditions and the last technical checks. However, a live broadcast will be available on the company’s official website, or directly via their live YouTube.