Weather scrubs SpaceShipTwo powered flight attempt

For the last couple of months, Virgin Galactic had promised that its next powered flight of SpaceShipTwo would take place soon. But, after all that time, Wednesday was still too soon, at least as far as Mother Nature was concerned. Virgin planned to carry out a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo on Wednesday from Mojave, but cloudy conditions kept the spacecraft and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft on the ground:

As the tweet above states, Virgin didn’t specify when the flight would be rescheduled. Doug Messier reports that the flight will likely not take place until after the first of the year: poor weather is forecast for Thursday, and holiday vacations start on Friday. (However, the current weather conditions in Mojave aren’t that bad—only partly cloudy conditions—so stay tuned.)

3 comments to Weather scrubs SpaceShipTwo powered flight attempt

  • Ben

    So much for Branson’s Xmas jaunt.

  • K E

    So much for frequent, routine flights. If they can’t even factor in a simple drop test on time, why should I have faith they will deliver passenger-carrying spaceflights?

    And no test flight till 2014. This so so frustrating.

    • @K E,

      They are still in their flight test program. This program is what will tell them the actual (as opposed to the predicted) performance of all of their systems. It’s important that the weather is good, so they don’t need to worry about unpredictable winds – and more importantly, so they can see the spacecraft from the ground and the chase plane. If something goes wrong, they want to be able to see what happened so they have some chance at fixing it.

      They’ve already had a lot of test flights – just not into space yet.

      Personally, I prefer them taking extra time to work out all the kinks to flying prematurely and courting a disaster that could set suborbital tourism back a few years.

      Disclaimer: I work for XCOR, a VG competitor. We would benefit from VG delays and suffer from a VG disaster.

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