Virgin Galactic released a financial report on Monday, November 8, showing that the company has significantly increased the cost of suborbital flights. The report says it has sold about 700 tickets out of 1,000 that the company plans to sell before commercial flights begin. At the same time, the last hundred tickets were sold at a price of $ 450 thousand. Before that, they cost $ 200-250 thousand. At the same time, as noted in the reporting, the new price “was well received” by customers.
The company made its first test flight on July 11, when Virgin founder Richard Branson and five other people were aboard the Unity 22 spacecraft. The next test flight – with an Italian crew on board – was scheduled for late September – early October. And after that, commercial launches were to begin.
However, in mid-October, it was revealed that Virgin Galactic’s commercial flights were being postponed until late 2022. Back then, the company discovered through routine testing that the safety margin of some materials used “to modify certain joints” could be reduced under certain loads. The company now has to conduct a new series of laboratory studies, after which a new test flight will be scheduled, and the launch of commercial flights will now take place, according to Virgin Galactic’s calculations, no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022.