Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Virgin Galactic Reports First Successful Test Flight From Spaceport America

By Scott Levine - May 4, 2020 at 10:54AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Magic was made in the skies over the Land of Enchantment today.

In what the company characterizes as "an important flight test milestone in preparation for commercial service," Virgin Galactic (SPCE -0.46%) announced the successful completion of its first SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America. Climbing to an altitude of 50,000 feet, the VSS Eve carrier aircraft released the VSS Unity, which proceeded to fly independently, achieving a glide speed of Mach 0.70. The test flight represents the first time that the Unity has flown independently in New Mexico airspace.

Speaking to the company's achievement and its general assistance to the state during this period of unprecedented uncertainty, Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico, said that "Today's VSS Unity flight is another exciting milestone for Virgin Galactic's progress in New Mexico. We are extremely happy and proud of Virgin Galactic, not only for today's success but also for the exceptional way they have integrated into NM and supported the region and State during this stressful time dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic."

A plane in front of Spaceport America.

Image source: Virgin Galactic corporate website.

Virgin Galactic plans on analyzing data from today's flight followed by preparing for the next flight, which has not been scheduled yet.

While the company's achievement warrants recognition, the likelihood that Virgin Galactic commences commercial operations in 2020 seems unlikely. As fellow Fool, Beth McKenna, pointed out after Virgin Galactic reported its Q4 2019 results, due to complications arising from the spread of the coronavirus -- and other factors -- it seems unreasonable to expect the company to achieve its initial aspiration of sending people to space in Summer 2020.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc.
$6.45 (-0.46%) $0.03

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/06/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.