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Virgin Galactic Unveils VSS Imagine, The First SpaceShip III in its Growing Fleet

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·5 min read
In this article:
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  • VSS Imagine will commence ground testing, with glide flights this summer

  • Breakthrough livery design allows Imagine to mirror the surrounding environment as it moves from Earth to Space

  • Manufacturing ramps up on next SpaceShip III in the fleet, VSS Inspire

Virgin Galactic today unveiled the Company’s first SpaceShip III in its growing fleet, VSS Imagine. The spaceship showcases Virgin Galactic’s innovation in design and astronaut experience. Imagine also demonstrates progress toward efficient design and production, as Virgin Galactic works to scale the business for the long-term. VSS Imagine will commence ground testing, with glide flights planned for this summer from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The breakthrough livery design, finished entirely with a mirror-like material, reflects the surrounding environment, constantly changing color and appearance as it travels from earth to sky to space. Along with providing thermal protection, this dynamic material is naturally appealing to the human eye, reflecting our inherent human fascination with space and the transformative experience of spaceflight.

Leveraging a modular design, the SpaceShip III class of vehicles are built to enable improved performance in terms of maintenance access and flight rate. This third generation of spaceship will lay the foundation for the design and manufacture of future vehicles.

As VSS Imagine begins ground testing, manufacturing will progress on VSS Inspire, the second SpaceShip III vehicle within the Virgin Galactic fleet. The introduction of the SpaceShip III class of vehicles is an important milestone in Virgin Galactic’s multi-year effort that targets flying 400 flights per year, per spaceport.

Future Astronauts are invited to be part of every step along the Virgin Galactic journey. One of Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts, Dee Chester, had a unique opportunity to play her part in the rollout of VSS Imagine, as her Astronaut Edition Range Rover towed the new spaceship out of the hangar for the first time.

VSS Imagine is unveiled ahead of VSS Unity’s next test flight, which is planned for May 2021.

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, shared: "Today we unveiled our SpaceShip III class of vehicles, marking the beginning of the Virgin Galactic fleet. VSS Imagine and Inspire are stunning ships that will take our future astronauts on an incredible voyage to space, and their names reflect the aspirational nature of human spaceflight. Congratulations to our dedicated team who worked so brilliantly to achieve this milestone."

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin, commented: "Virgin Galactic spaceships are built specifically to deliver a new, transforming perspective to the thousands of people who will soon be able to experience the wonder of space for themselves. As a SpaceShip III class of vehicle, Imagine is not just beautiful to look at, but represents Virgin Galactic’s growing fleet of spaceships. All great achievements, creations and changes start with an idea. Our hope is for all those who travel to space to return with fresh perspectives and new ideas that will bring positive change to our planet.’’

You can download all press materials including images and B-roll from the Virgin Galactic Press FTP.

About Virgin Galactic Holdings

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. is a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. It is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique and transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.com/

Notes to editors:

  • Today Virgin Galactic and Land Rover also announce the extension of their global partnership until 2024.

  • The extension will result in a ten-year partnership between two world leaders in adventure, innovation and exploration.

  • Land Rover vehicles have provided valuable support on the ground in Mojave and continue to do so at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

  • Please find more information on the Land Rover partnership announcement and on Future Astronaut Dee Chester on the Virgin Galactic website: https://www.virgingalactic.com/news/

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws with respect to Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (the "Company"), including statements regarding the Company’s expected maintainability of the spaceships and flight schedule. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by words such as "believe," "project," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this presentation, including but not limited to the factors, risks and uncertainties included in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which are accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Relations section of our website at www.virgingalactic.com. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and, except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210330005537/en/

Contacts

For media inquiries:
Aleanna Crane - Vice President Communications
Virgingalacticpress@virgingalactic.com
+44 (0)7395604549

For investor inquiries:
Seth Zaslow – Vice President Investor Relations
seth.zaslow@virgingalactic.com