Thursday, June 20, 2024

Virgin Galactic begins ground testing of Delta spaceship subsystems

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Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) has begun operations at the new ground-based test facility for its Delta Class spaceships, which are expected to enter commercial service in 2026.

The new system integration facility in Southern California features a testing platform known as an “Iron Bird,” which will enable the space travel company to test and verify the operation of dozens of Delta subsystems. The facility will add components over the course of the year to increase its scope and effectiveness.

The Iron Bird test rig is just one ground testing method used in the development of the Delta spaceship. A static test article will stress major structural components to verify structural integrity data and determine the design and ultimate limit loads of the structure.

Virgin Galactic Spaceline President Mike Moses. “The team has hit the ground running – with important testing already underway, supporting our ability to execute key Delta production milestones. The test data we’re gathering at this important stage of development will further refine testing and streamline manufacturing and validation over the course of the Delta program.”

The Delta Class spaceships are being built to be capable of flying eight space missions per month, with twelve times the monthly capacity of Virgin’s (SPCE) original spaceship, VSS Unity.

Final assembly of the Delta ships will take place at Virgin Galactic’s new Delta facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

Shares of the aerospace firm rose 2.32% premarket on Monday

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