US Air Regulator bans Virgin Galactic spacecraft pending investigation

According to the magazine The New Yorker, during the descent, Unity-22 deviated from the trajectory, which ran within the airspace allocated by the FAA for this flight.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily banned Virgin Galactic spacecraft from flying until the agency completes its investigation of the incident with the Unity-22 deviation during a suborbital flight on July 11, or concludes that flights are safe.

“Virgin Galactic cannot resume flights of the [series] SpaceShipTwo ships until the FAA approves the final incident investigation report or concludes that the contingency issues do not affect the safety of people,” it is noted in the text of the statement of the department, which was circulated on Thursday by the American media.

Earlier, the FAA launched an investigation into the July 11 incident that threatened the ship with an emergency landing. According to the magazine The New Yorker, during the descent, Unity-22 deviated from the trajectory, which ran within the airspace allocated by the FAA for this flight. The incident could have occurred due to the fact that during takeoff, the spacecraft’s engines worked for several seconds longer than planned.

The company representatives admitted that Unity-22 was descending not on a given trajectory for more than one and a half minutes. At the same time, according to Virgin Galactic, the ship’s deviation from the course was provoked by winds in the upper atmosphere. The test pilots acted according to the instructions, and similar incidents are being worked out in preparation for flights, the company stressed.

Virgin Galactic is one of the firms that intend to carry out regular tourist flights into space. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have similar plans.

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