Virgin Galactic, an aerospace company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, has reached another milestone in the build of its second commercial spaceship.
In reaching the ‘Weight on Wheels’ milestone, all major structural elements of the vehicle were assembled, the vehicle deployed its main landing gear and carried its own weight for the first time. This signals strong progress in the build of the vehicle, which has been “reached considerably faster” than it took the first spaceship in the Virgin Galactic fleet, VSS Unity.
As the next step, the assembly team is connecting its integrated systems, including the flight control systems from fuselage to tail booms, as well as completing the final structural closeouts.
“A testament to the growing expertise and capabilities of the company”
George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic said: “Reaching the Weight on Wheels milestone considerably faster than was achieved for VSS Unity is a huge accomplishment and is a testament to the growing expertise and capabilities of the company.
“We now have two spaceships that are structurally complete, with our third making good progress. These spaceships are destined to provide thousands of private astronauts with a truly transformative experience by performing regular trips to space.’’
According to Virgin Galactic’s latest statement, the company’s spaceship fleet is already advancing to its third spaceship, also currently under construction in Mojave. The structural and system part fabrication for the third vehicle is now over 50% complete.