Daily Management Review

Virgin Galactic unveils new VSS Imagine spacecraft


Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has unveiled its new Spaceship VSS Imagine.

Global Panorama
Global Panorama
It is the first representative of the new, third generation of Spaceship III. Virgin Galactic reports that the VSS Imagine is currently undergoing ground testing, with flight tests scheduled to begin this summer at its New Mexico proving ground.

The company did not disclose the technical specifications of the new spacecraft and its exact purpose - suborbital or orbital flights. It is reported that while VSS Imagine will undergo ground and flight tests, the company continues to work on the second spacecraft in the Spaceship III series, VSS Inspire. Virgin Galactic notes that the third generation Spaceship is "a major milestone in achieving the goal of 400 flights per year".

Virgin Galactic, which aims to operate suborbital and eventually tourist orbital flights, is currently conducting test flights on the previous, second-generation Spaceship II, VSS Unity. This manned suborbital rocket-powered spaceplane was unveiled in 2016 and reached an altitude of 80km in December 2018. The other Spaceship II suborbital vehicle, VSS Enterprise, crashed in 2014, one pilot died and the other survived with serious injuries.

source: cnbc.com