Virgin Galactic has started preparing for its first suborbital spaceflight that’s launching from Spaceport America in New Mexico. CNBC found FCC filings back in September revealing the aerospace company’s plans for the last round of SpaceShipTwo tests. Now, Virgin Galactic has confirmed that it is indeed opening its flight planning window for the first of two crewed tests on October 22nd, which means the mission could launch that day or anytime after that.
The company’s preparations include training its pilots using its ground-based simulator, as well as using its carrier aircraft VMS Eve. Apparently, the aircraft, which carries the SpaceShipTwo to the skies before dropping it mid-air, has very similar structure and controls to the spacecraft itself. The spacecraft will also be put through its paces on the ground and will undergo a bunch of pre-flight checks.
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