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HomeBusinessVirgin Galactic reports pin detachment during recent space flight.

Virgin Galactic reports pin detachment during recent space flight.

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Virgin Galactic experienced an in-flight hardware issue during its recent crewed space tourism flight, as a pin used to align the spaceplane and its carrier aircraft became detached during the Jan. 26 flight. However, the company assured that the detached alignment pin did not pose a safety impact on the vehicles or the crew on board. This incident comes as Virgin Galactic planned to conduct its next mission between April and June.

This is not the first in-flight issue the company has faced, as past incidents include a deviation from the intended flight path when founder Richard Branson flew to space in 2021, as well as a fatal crash in 2014. The company is currently conducting a review with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after the post-flight discovery of the pin malfunction.

The incident has drawn attention to the FAA’s lack of mandate on safety standards for commercial spacecraft, as well as the upcoming expiration of a legislative moratorium on March 8. Virgin Galactic’s commitment to resolving the issue and providing further updates on its next mission will be closely monitored in the context of increased scrutiny on the aerospace industry.

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