A minute before the launch, everything was clear, but the Virgin Galactic stopped landing test flight of the spacecraft powered by its rocket.
The spacecraft was successfully flown at an altitude of 9.4 miles (15 km) but did not detach from the mother ship as planned.
The launch did not go live because the company said it “saves that moment for a particular flight in the future” without guests or media on the strict part of the site. Covid-19 Launch date delayed protocols.
Instead, Virgin Galactic tweeted the mission live, but announced that the spacecraft was heading home more than eight minutes later, saying it had less than a minute to decoupling. The crew got off safely.
The company explained in a later tweet: “The ignition sequence of the rocket motor is not complete. The vehicle and crew are in excellent condition. We have several motors ready in SportSport America. We will inspect the vehicle and return to the aircraft soon.”
The cancellation of the mission following the tragedy during the company’s first test launch in 2014, when the Spaceship Two vehicle crashed during space travel. One pilot was killed and another was seriously injured after parachuting.
After the redesign following the 2014 disaster, several successful tests were performed.
Despite numerous test flights, Spaceport in New Mexico is the world’s first launch from the American runway, the “world’s first purpose-built commercial space port”.
The mission would make New Mexico the third largest U.S. state after California and Florida.
Before launching the rocket into sub-orbital space 50 miles (80 km) above Earth, the mothership decoupled the spacecraft and operated, exposing the crew and cargo to microgravity for more than two minutes.
There is an argument as to whether it is eligible for space at an altitude of 50 miles, and although some places identify a boundary of 62 miles (100 km), the U.S. government states that this is the boundary of space.
Virgin Galactic ultimately aims to launch space tourism services from next year, already having more than 600 customers for $ 250,000 ($ 189,000) of seats – including Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Saturday’s launch is the first of three final test flights before the company’s commercial operations begin.
Sir Richard Branson, the company’s founder, will test service on the third of these aircraft – 11 years after it aims to deliver.
The second phase of the inspection will involve four mission specialists in the cabin to “inspect and modify equipment, procedures, training and overall experience,” the company said in a statement.
The company’s ultimate goal is to operate five spacecraft that carry tourists into sub – orbital space and carry scientific payloads for NASA and similar organizations.
NASA had an electromagnetic field test on Saturday’s flight and a dust collision test – both of which have previously been tested in different forms on other test flights.