According to a FAA statement, “Virgin Galactic will return SpaceShipTwo vehicles to flight until the FAA approves the final accident investigation report or determines that accident-related issues do not affect public safety. I can not do it”.
The company’s share price fell about 4% during Thursday’s trading hours.
In its first statement Wednesday afternoon, the company defended what was called “Unity 22” flight safety and challenged what Schmiddle’s article called “misleading features and conclusions.” Said.
“Unity 22 was a safe and successful test flight in compliance with our flight procedures and training protocols. When a vehicle encounters a high altitude wind that changes trajectory, pilots and systems monitor the trajectory and mission. We’ve confirmed that it stays within the parameters, “the company said. Said.
“Although the final trajectory of the flight deviated from the original plan, it was controlled and deliberate flight that allowed Unity 22 to reach space and land safely at the New Mexico spaceport. It was a path. The result of this orbital change. “
The statement added that spaceplane pilots encountered high-altitude winds and “appropriately responded to these changing flight conditions.”
However, another statement to the FAA’s investigation also acknowledged that the flight “deviationed from the original plan” and that the spacecraft was below the approved altitude for a flight of 1 minute 41 seconds.
“The ship never moved over densely populated areas or poses a danger to the public,” the company added. “FAA representatives were in our control room with in-flight and post-flight reports. We are working with FAA to address airspace for future flights. “
Virgin Galactic did not answer follow-up questions about warning lights reported in the spacecraft cockpit during Branson’s flight.
According to the article, the vehicle’s unknown orientation could have forced it to leave the quilter to descend to Earth and make an emergency landing in the New Mexico desert.
The new report adds to some of the bomb scoops Schmiddle had about the company’s safety records. The record was that its executives and spokesperson sought to clean under the rug to save the face between wealthy Virgin Galactic customers and those who would become space travelers.
Todd Ericsson, a former Virgin Galactic vice president of safety who later resigned from the company, told Schmiddle last year, “This is the moment you come to Jesus, not like polishing under a rug. It must have been. “
Neither FAA nor Virgin Galactic has published any issues related to 2019 flights or Branson flights.
FAA did not respond to requests for additional comments.