Virgin Galactic says its suborbital spaceflights are booked until 2021.
Stephen Attenborough, commercial director of Virgin Galactic, said that anyone buying a ticket today for a SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceflight is unlikely to fly until 2021 because of the backlog of about 650 customers already holding tickets.
Attenborough said that estimate was based on starting commercial flights in 2018.
The company has been reticent to set schedules for beginning commercial service, although founder Sir Richard Branson said earlier this year he would be disappointed if regular suborbital flights were not underway by the end of next year. [The Australian]
An SES communications satellite is in orbit after a successful launch Thursday. The Boeing-built SES-15 satellite separated from its Fregat upper stage more than five hours after launch Thursday morning on a Soyuz from French Guiana. The spacecraft is SES’ first all-electric satellite, decreasing the spacecraft’s mass to permit a launch on a Soyuz. The satellite has a mix of traditional and high-throughput Ku-band beams and a Wide Area Augmentation System payload for the FAA. [SpaceNews]
Chinese satellite operator China Satcom plans to support the country’s “Belt and Road” trade initiative with new services. The initiative seeks to enhance trade ...