Virgin Galactic's postponing its first human test flight out of Spaceport America due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico
Virgin Galacticsaid Monday it's delaying a pivotal crewed launch planned for mid-November due to COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico.
- "[W]e 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," CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement Monday.
- The postponed November mission is scheduled to be the first human test flight from the company's base Spaceport America in New Mexico.
- New Mexico announced statewide coronavirus restrictions Friday as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. State health officials have recorded 64,201 cases in total.
The company originally planned its first human test flight from Spaceport America to take place between November 19 and 23.But Virgin Galactic said in a statement Monday it's rescheduling the test flight, given that the base of the company's commercial operations is located at Spaceport America in New Mexico, where Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced COVID-19 restrictions Friday.
He added: "Our team members at Virgin Galactic, our Future Astronauts, and our fans around the world remain incredibly excited for our upcoming spaceflight."New Mexico introduced statewide coronavirus restrictions on Friday, instructing people to stay at home except for essential trips, closing all non-essential businesses, and limiting bars and restaurants to takeout.
State health officials announced Sunday 1,033 additional COVID-19 cases in New Mexico, bringing the total number to 64,201. Seven additional deaths were also recorded.Read more: New rules will make it easier to launch rockets than ever, but insiders are scrambling to figure out what they mean for companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin The
If the test flight is successful,
Following Branson's flight, the company said it will resume selling tickets for its luxurious VSS Unity
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