Virgin Galactic delays its first commercial research space flight to mid-October

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Virgin Galactic is dealing with yet more setbacks for its paid spaceflights. Reuters reports Virgin has delayed its first commercial research flight, Unity 23, to no sooner than mid-October. The mission was originally scheduled for late September or early October, but a supplier warned of a possible “manufacturing defect” in the flight control actuation system, Virgin said.

It’s not certain if the defect is present in Virgin’s vehicles or if any repairs are necessary. Virgin said it was only postponing the launch out of an “abundance of caution.” The mission will see three Italian Air Force members study the effects of transitioning from regular Earth gravity to microgravity on both humans and the environment.

This wasn’t connected to the FAA’s investigation of a deviation from the cleared flight path, Virgin added. When the flight goes forward also depends on the FAA lifting a…

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