The company announced it is targeting February 13 to send its newest suborbital vehicle VSS Unity, but said other dates are also available this month. This will be the third spaceflight for Unity, and the first one to launch from New Mexico’s Spaceport America, the company’s commercial hub.
Virgin Galactic has previously launched Unity from Mojave Air and Space Port in California, close to the company’s manufacturing unit’s headquarters.
The company had already tried to lift off Unity on December 12, 2020, however, the spaceliner’s rocket motor failed to light up properly, so its pilots C.J. Sturckow and Dave Mackay landed the vehicle down at Spaceport America.
Virgin Galactic representatives said the new spaceflight will incorporate the initial test objectives from the attempt, “including evaluating elements of the customer cabin, testing the livestream capability from the spaceship to the ground and assessing the upgraded horizontal stabilizers and flight controls during the boost phase of the flight.”
The attempt number two will also include two pilots, some research payloads and no passengers.
The company developed the SpaceShipTwo in a bid to fly passengers and scientific experiments on short trips to suborbital space. The spaceliner is designed to lift off under the wings of a carrier plane named WhiteKnightTwo, which is dropped once it reaches the altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,000 meters). After that, SpaceShipTwo’s rocket motor lights up, taking the vehicle to suborbital space.Technical analysis: Shares soar
Virgin Galactic stock price is trading over 10% higher today as buyers work to erase gains of 9.69% recorded yesterday. The stock is up over 20% in January after exploding nearly 87% in December.Virgin Galactic daily chart (TradingView)
Investors looking to buy SPCE stock are likely to wait for a pullback to occur first as the price action currently trades about 10% off the all-time highs. In this context, any pullback to a zone around $44 will be seen as a buying opportunity.Summary
Virgin Galactica said it is targeting February 13 for the next spaceflight of VSS Unity. As a result, shares soared nearly 9% today.