Virgin Galactic has delayed the start of its commercial space flights to Q4 2022.
The company was expected to conduct another test flight this month (October 2021) but this now appears to be delayed since Virgin Galactic is now starting its planned refurbishment work on its spacecraft and carrier aircraft. The process is expected to take between 8 to 10 months.
The refurbishment work was due to start after the next test flight, but now the company has decided to start the process early, due to issues found after a recent test. The company said this about the issues found:
“One of these recent laboratory-based tests flagged a possible reduction in the strength margins of certain materials used to modify specific joints, and this requires further physical inspection.”
All of this means the earliest Virgin Galactic may have another flight will be around mid-2022.
Virgin Galactic stock fell around 20% after market.