Virgin Galactic SPCE delays industrial spaceflights to This fall 2022

Virgo galactic is postponing the start of its commercial space tourism service to the fourth quarter of 2022, with the company announcing a reorganization of its development and test flight schedule on Thursday.

The space tourism company will begin renovating and upgrading its spacecraft and carrier aircraft this month. A process that, according to a spokesman for Virgin Galactic told CNBC, is expected to take eight to ten months – with completion between June and August.

Virgin Galactic had planned to begin the “improvement period” after the next space flight called Unity 23, requiring “another physical inspection”.

With work on Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft and VMS Eve carrier aircraft commencing this month, the process will make mid-2022 the earliest time the Unity 23 can fly.

“The reorganization of our improvement period and flight Unity 23 underscores our security practices, provides the most efficient route to commercial services and is the right approach for our business and our customers,” said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic in a statement.

Virgin Galactic’s shares fell 20% in early trading on Friday. The stock rose just 1% for 2021 at the close of trading on Thursday.

Unity 23 will now come after the improvement process that Virgin Galactic said was “designed to further increase margins for improved reliability, durability and reduced maintenance”. Virgin Galactic had two more space flights planned for the third quarter of 2022 – Unity 24 and Unity 25, the latter marking the launch of the commercial service – but these no longer have public target dates.

The renovation phase should also start in September, but the Federal Aviation Administration had left Virgin Galactic down for most of the last month to investigate a mishap that occurred during the flight that transported the company’s founder Sir Richard Branson. The FAA gave Virgin Galactic permission to return to the flight upon completion of the investigation.

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U.S. weighs ordering industrial airways to supply flights for Afghanistan evacuation efforts

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army soldiers assigned to patrol the 82nd Airborne Division at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 17, 2021. Image taken on August 17, 2021.

US Air Force | Reuters

The Biden administration has told US commercial airlines that it could order them to help evacuate Afghanistan, according to someone familiar with the matter.

The Department of Defense informed several of the country’s major commercial airlines late Friday that it could activate the civil reserve air fleet to bolster the airlift, the person said, adding that the flights will be from other locations rather than from Afghanistan itself would. This could include airmen stranded on U.S. bases in Germany, Qatar and Bahrain, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first covered the news.

The almost 70-year-old Civil Reserve Air Fleet program was launched after the Berlin Airlift to support a “major national defense emergency”. Reasons are humanitarian or natural disasters and war.

The White House and the Department of Defense did not respond immediately.

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan announced by Biden earlier this year has been ravaged by chaos. Thousands of people poured into Kabul airport after the Taliban took over the city and secured control of the country last week.

US Defense officials say the military is looking for alternative ways to get Americans, Afghans and third-country nationals safely to the airport in Kabul following threats from the Islamic State. NBC News reports Saturday.

The US embassy in Afghanistan on Saturday warned US citizens should not travel to the airport “because of possible security threats at the gates of Kabul airport”.

A White House official told the press pool on Saturday that six U.S. military C-17s and 32 charter planes had left Kabul in the past 24 hours. The total number of passengers for these 38 flights is approximately 3,800. The White House official says the US has evacuated approximately 17,000 people since Aug. 14.

Several U.S. airlines volunteered earlier this week to help airlift evacuees, the person told CNBC.

The tender for the so-called CRAF flights was opened on Saturday and would be closed on Monday United Airlines Flight attendants, their union, the Association of Flight Attendants, wrote in a memo.

“In order for United to be prepared in the event that the US Department of Defense announces that United Airlines CRAF has been activated, offers for CRAF operations must be made immediately and over a very short period of time,” the statement said.

NASA Industrial LEO Locations undertaking for personal area stations

SpaceX’s crew Dragon Endeavor was docked with the International Space Station on July 1, 2020.


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration brought astronauts aboard the International Space Station for two decades last year. However, as the floating research laboratory ages, the space agency is turning to private companies to build and deploy new free-flying habitats in near-earth orbit.

Last week NASA presented the Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) project. In the fourth quarter of 2021, a total of up to four companies are expected to receive up to $ 400 million to begin developing private space stations.

The agency is keen to replicate the success of its Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew programs. In these programs, three companies took over NASA to send cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station.

NASA’s LEO commercial director Phil McAlister said he views the domain of low-earth orbit as three main activities: “cargo transportation, crew transportation, and destinations.” NASA has transferred responsibility for the two earlier activities to private companies, with SpaceX and Northrop Grumman Send cargo vehicles to the ISS as well as SpaceX and Boeing Astronauts to start. McAlister stressed that NASA had previously taken full ownership of all three activities.

“If it stayed that way, our near-earth orbit efforts would always be limited by the size of NASA’s budget,” McAlister said in a briefing Tuesday. “By bringing the private sector into these areas and into these areas as a supplier and user, you expand the pot and you have more people in low orbit.”

NASA will open the International Space Station to tourists with the first mission in 2020.

Stocktrek Pictures | Getty Images

NASA’s potential cost savings as a space station user, rather than as an owner and operator, is a major motivator for the CLD program. The International Space Station costs NASA about $ 4 billion a year to operate. In addition, it cost a total of $ 150 billion to develop and build the ISS, with NASA taking most of that bill, while Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada each contributed.

NASA estimated last year that it was the commercial crew program alone It is estimated that the agency has saved between $ 20 billion and $ 30 billion, while funding two spacecraft development instead of just one. While Boeing has not yet completed development testing, it suffers a prolonged setback after the initial unscrewing The Starliner capsule launch in December 2019 failed due to several anomalies, SpaceX’s The Crew Dragon spacecraft is now operationally flying NASA astronauts.

Another motivator for starting the CLD program is the aging hardware of the ISS, as much of the space station’s core structures were made in the 1990s and the final print structure was added in 2011. Last year Russian cosmonauts were working to fix a small air leak in a room in a station module.

“The ISS is an amazing system, but unfortunately it won’t last forever,” said McAlister. “An unrecoverable anomaly can occur at any time.”

NASA sees the CLD program as a way to get multiple companies to develop and build new habitats over the next few years so that the agency has an overlap period before the ISS retires. McAlister noted that regardless of the CLD program NASA awarded space specialist Axiom Space an order worth 140 million US dollars to build modules add to the ISS. When the ISS retires, Axiom plans to take its modules down and convert them into a free-flying space station.

“We’re making progress there and we’re really excited about it,” said McAlister. “We want to have competition in the utility sector, so that’s what we do [CLD]. It has always been part of our plan to have both modules installed and free leaflets. “

An Axiom spokesman said in a statement to CNBC that the company “broadly supports NASA’s vision of a multifaceted economy in LEO”.

“We are raising private funding to design and develop our world’s first commercial target to demonstrate that true commercial leadership can advance the LEO economy. Building the Axiom Station as an extension of the International Space Station will expand the work that at station in the near future and at best allow a timely and seamless transition when the ISS reaches the end of its life, “said Axiom.

A NASA list of organizations registered for the briefing revealed a wide variety of aerospace companies including: Airbus US, Blue Origin, Boeing, Collins Aerospace, Firefly Aerospace, General Dynamics, Ispace, Lockheed Martin, Moog, Nanoracks , Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Redwire Space, RUAG Space, Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX, Virgo Galactic, Virgin Orbit, Voyager Space Holdings, and York Space Systems.

One of these companies has already announced that it will soon announce its plan for a free-flying space station. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced that it will host a virtual press conference on March 31st to unveil the design of the “SNC Space Station”.

NASA will release a final announcement for CLD proposals in May. The first phase of the promotional awards is expected between October and December. NASA’s Johnson Space Center will manage the CLD program through its commercial LEO development office.

Tyler, The Creator Releases New Music by Lending his Trademark Type to Coca-Cola Business

Tyler, the creator’s transition from fearful rapper to alternative pop mega-star, has left little room for surprises, but that of the artist new collaboration with Coca-Cola sees the company adopt its unique style. According to a recent Twitter post and the company’s YouTube channel, the performer created the music for Coca-Cola’s “Open That Coca-Cola” advertising campaign.


– Tyler, the creator (@tylerthecreator) February 21, 2021

In Open That Coca-Cola, after sipping the branded drink in a busy city, some people jam from the corner shop to the roof of an old school apartment. This piece of music is a symbol of Tyler, the new sound from The Creator, with loud, busy synthesizers and an infectious hip-hop beat that goes perfectly with the dances advertised.

mannnn thank you coca cola for the really great love for the opportunity i was like ehh idk but then i damned ran with it. Commercials need sounds like that, thank you

– Tyler, the creator (@tylerthecreator) February 21, 2021

“Man, thank you coca cola for the really great love for the opportunity that I had, like ehh idk, but then I damned ran with it. Commercials need sounds like that, thank you, “Tyler, The Creator, wrote in a tweet.

Last year it was unusually quiet for Tyler, The Creator, who released his last studio album IGOR a mountain of critical recognition and commercial success in 2019 mxdwn’s top 50 albums List this year. He appeared earlier this year on the Brent Faiyaz song “Heaviness, “Which was released as a standalone single. He also played two songs of IGOR, “EARFQUAKE” and “NEW MAGIC WAND” along with Charlie Wilson and Boyz II Men at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

“Tyler builds on Flower Boy’s style and critical acclaim and continues to set personal and creative boundaries regardless of who he was. All in all, IGOR is Tyler’s most coherent project to date and will be considered a central point in his career, ”said Henry Green, mxdwn reviewer.

Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado