Updated: October 19, 2020 06:54 PM
Created: October 19, 2020 05:43 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The president of Virgin Galactic gave state lawmakers an update Monday on the company’s progress toward commercial spaceflight.
Virgin Galactic President Mike Moses said the first test space flight from Spaceport America will happen sometime this fall, which is the final step before taking paying customers into space.
"Pretty big milestone. New Mexico will join California and Florida as only the third state in the U.S. to host human spaceflight missions and send people into space,” he said.
Moses told lawmakers that Virgin Galactic has implemented COVID precautions in order to move forward safely.
"When things first happened, we did our part and shut down and isolated while we evaluated what we could do to reopen safely,” he said. “We are at a roughly 50 percent capacity footprint with about half the team working remote, and about half on site, but those on site people are on rotating shifts so that no more than about a third of that half is on site at any one time, and we've got a regime of strict protocols and testing to keep our workforce safe.”
Virgin Galactic has already moved into Spaceport America and is the main tenant. Moses said they employ about 180 people—half of whom are locally hired—and have spent $13 million with about 100 local businesses.
"I know it has been very long road for all of us on both sides, but we are finally in striking distance of our very first space flight and commercial service,” Moses said.
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