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Mon, Sep 13, 2021

As Expected: Virgin Galactic Calls A Halt To Unity 23 Mission

A Third-Party Supplier Recently Flagged A Potential Manufacturing Defect

Virgin Galactic has announced an update regarding the timing of its next test flight, “Unity 23” with the Italian Air Force.

"During preparation for the Unity 23 test flight, a third-party supplier recently flagged a potential manufacturing defect in a component of the flight control actuation system that they supply to Virgin Galactic. At this point, it is not yet known whether the defect is present in the Company’s vehicles and what, if any, repair work may be needed. Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with Virgin Galactic’s established safety procedures, the Company is in the process of conducting inspections in partnership with the vendor."

VG claims that this issue is unrelated to the Unity 22 flight or their difficulties with the FAA -- which grounded the coampany from further flights until proper investigations could be completed.

As a result, and "pending resolution of the FAA matter," the earliest the Company expects to open its flight window for Unity 23 is mid-October (and seems likely for great delays). A further update and specific flight window will be shared once the inspection is complete, in coordination with the Italian Air Force.

Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, said: “We have a robust pre-flight readiness approach that is rooted in our thorough, proactive, and safety-first culture. There is nothing more important to us than the integrity of our vehicles. Our test flight processes and procedures are rigorous and structured to identify and resolve these types of issues. We look forward to taking to the skies again soon.”

FMI: www.virgingalactic.com

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