Virgin Galactic’s first spaceflight from Spaceport America will launch soon

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Ticket sales for suborbital trips will re-open in 2021 after Richard Branson’s flight, the company said, which it’s hoping to accomplish in the first quarter of 2021. That said, it’s ending One Small Step — the program it opened to bump qualified customers to the front of the line for “firm” reservations — on December 31st. It has reached close to 900 participants as of October 31st. On the financial side of things, Virgin Galactic reported a net loss of $77 million, much higher than its $63 million net loss for the previous quarter.

While the upcoming flight will be the first out of Spaceport America, SpaceShipTwo flew to space twice in the past. As part of its preparations, the company trained its pilots using a ground-based simulator and its carrier aircraft VMS Eve, which has a very similar structure and controls to SpaceShipTwo. It also put the spacecraft through a bunch of pre—flight checks on the ground.

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