Virgin Galactic Delays Next Test Flight

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism venture of Sir Richard Branson, has delayed its next test flight, due to what it described as a “potential manufacturing defect” in a component of its flight systems. According to the company, it was preparing for its next test flight, the “Unity 23” flight with the Italian Air Force, when a third-party supplier flagged a “potential manufacturing defect in a component of the flight control actuation system”, causing the company to delay the planned flight. The delay comes on top of an FAA investigation into a deviation from air traffic control and airspace encountered during the Unity 22 flight, which carried Sir Richard Branson into space. Virgin Galactic says that this new issue is unrelated to that earlier issue. Virgin Galactic says the earliest it expects to open its flight window for Unity 23 is mid October.