It won’t necessarily cause a significant delay, but it’s still an unpleasant setback for Virgin. This test would have been the last before a new phase of testing where the company would seat specialists in the cabin to help improve the passenger experience – some of the last steps before commercial service begins. If there is more than a small delay, Virgin cannot start accepting paying customers any longer.
The test was also supposed to be the first manned space flight to launch from New Mexico and the first from Spaceport America. Like it or not, the making of history will have to wait at least a little longer.
Early update on the flight: The rocket engine ignition sequence did not complete. The vehicle and crew are in great shape. We have several engines ready for Spaceport America. We will check the vehicle and resume the flight soon.
– Galactic Virgo (@virgingalactic) December 12, 2020