Virgin Galactic is set to conduct the first suborbital flight of its VSS Unity spacecraft in nearly two years on May 25. The flight test, to be held at Spaceport America in New Mexico will be the final one before the company begins carrying paying passengers late next month.
Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) released its earnings report after trading hours ended on Tuesday that revealed its net loss widened from $93.1 million to $159.4 million in the first quarter as the suborbital space tourism company ramped up spending to expand its vehicle fleet and prepared for its first revenue-generating passenger flight in late June.
Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier had reason to be upbeat during the company’s earnings call last week. The company’s mothership, VMS Eve, had flown back to Spaceport America the day before following a 16-month overhaul at the Mojave Air and Space Port at Rutan Field in California.
Lunar lander builder Intuitive Machines looks to join the Space SPAC index this week. Shareholders are set to vote on its reverse merger with Inflection Point Acquisition Corp. on Wednesday morning. If the deal goes through, the Houston-based company will begin trading on Nasdaq under the symbol LUNR.
After a 15-month overhaul, Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve carrier aircraft is once again basking in the bright sunshine of the Mojave Desert as it prepares for taxi tests today. Follow www.twitter.com/spacecom for updates.
Virgin Galactic has seen the departures of its director of safety and chief legal officer over the past month.
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Michelle Kley is leaving Virgin Galactic as of July 19 after two years and seven months with the company. She will become chief legal officer at Volta, a company that runs an electric vehicle charging network.
Her departure comes as Virgin Galactic battles lawsuits from unhappy shareholders who claim to have lost money since the company went public more than 2.5 years ago.
Kley joined Virgin Galactic as executive vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary in December 2019. She previously served as senior vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary at Maxar Technologies from July 2016 to March 2019.
Virgin Galactic’s quarterly reports have fallen into a familiar pattern since the company went public 2.5 years ago. Optimistic talk about past and future progress is mixed in with a large net loss and another delay in the start of commercial service that was originally forecast to begin back in 2007.
Richard Branson’s space tourism company didn’t fail to disappoint on Thursday. The net loss for Q1 2022 was $93 million, which was higher than Q4 2021 net loss of $81 million but less than the $130 million loss for the first quarter of 2021.
Billionaire aims to go higher and faster next time
Virgin Galactic still can’t get SpaceShipTwo all the way up (to Karman line)
FAA throws in the towel on deciding who is and who isn’t an astronaut
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
Earlier this month, Richard Branson and two Virgin Galactic employees received commercial astronaut wings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity flight test they took part in last July. The trio was the last group to receive the wings — FAA ended the program last year — and the honors came with a pretty big asterisk.
TUSTIN, Calif. (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), an aerospace and space travel company, today announced that veteran pilot and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kelly Latimer has been promoted to Director of Flight Test.
Latimer joined Virgin Galactic in 2015 as its first female test pilot. She currently serves as a pilot for the mothership, VMS Eve, and was pilot in command for the Unity 21 mission and second in command for the historic Unity 22 mission. She will continue to serve as a Virgin Galactic pilot and will fly the Company’s spaceships on future test and commercial missions.
In her new role, Latimer will oversee the entirety of the Company’s flight test program including design, planning, execution, and post-flight analysis. This includes leading the flight test engineering team and managing mission control engineers who gather and analyze flight data to validate the safety and performance of the spaceflight system. Latimer will supervise the completion of the flight test program for Virgin Galactic’s current fleet, which is scheduled to resume later this year, and will work in parallel on the development of the Company’s new motherships and Delta class spaceships.