Virgin Galactic denies reports of problems with space tourism project

January 9th, 2009 - 2:10 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 9 (ANI): Richard Bransons Virgin Galactic company has denied claims that one of the craft in its space tourism project is suffering difficulties with its rudder.

Branson had unveiled the Virgin Galactic White Knight 2 craft to carry space tourists in California in July last year.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Flight International has reported that White Knight Two, the mother ship, ran into trouble when making a series of ariel maneuvers.

White Knight Two is being used to carry SpaceShipTwo, the rocket which will take passengers into space.

The journal cited an unnamed source as providing the information about the supposed difficulties during the test flight at the Mohave Desert in California.

It claimed that Peter Siebold, the test pilot, was unable to keep the aircraft on the runway.

But, this was denied by Will Whitehorn, Virgin Galactics president.

There are no issues we know of at all at this stage which will affect the programme or the overall design. It is beyond ridiculous. There is no problem with the flight, he said.

It was a highly successful test flight and everything is going to plan, he added, saying that the next test flight would take place in a fortnight.

We will begin testing the Space Ship Two rocket planes in August and are optimistic that we will be flying into space with passengers by the end of the year, Whitehorn further added.

Virgin Galactic expects to start commercial space flights next year, with passengers paying 150,000 pounds for the trip. (ANI)

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