Virgin Galactic is facing yet another setback. CNBC was informed Thursday by Virgin Galactic that it had delayed the launch of its commercial space tourism service until the fourth quarter 2022. It had previously planned to offer paid spaceflights in the third quarter next year.
The company is now preparing to begin refurbishing its spacecraft and carrier planes this month, despite the delay. Virgin Galactic estimates that the whole process will take anywhere from eight to ten months. The company's next flight, Unity 23, won't fly until mid-2022 due to this move.
In a statement, Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier stated that the resequencing our enhancement period and Unity 23 flight underlines our safety-first procedures and provides the best path to commercial service. It is also the right approach for both our business and customers.