It turns out that Richard Branson and his crew nearly paid with their lives on their last flight to the edge of space in the VSS Unity spacecraft. Disturbing new facts are coming to light. The case has been investigated by the FAA and NASA.
This past July, billionaire Richard Branson took his first flight into space aboard his space plane. We all thought that the whole mission went completely successfully. It wasn’t, although the Virgin boss and his employees made it back to Earth in one piece and were feeling great when they stepped out of the plane.
During the most important phase of the flight – the separation of the VSS Unity spacecraft from the EMS Eve mothership, the firing of the rocket engine and the flight to the edge of space – serious problems occurred. Well, pilots Dave Mackay and Mike Masucci had to decide whether to abort or continue their flight.
That’s because the red light in the cockpit came on, which signals the plane to go off course. Had the pilots shut down the engine, the entire event would have ended in a huge and embarrassing failure for Branson and the crew. In the end, Branson would not have found himself in space and defeated Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
The pilots did not shut down the engine and instead tried to correct the trajectory of the flight. The risk paid off. In the end, the craft veered off its intended course for 1 minute and 42 seconds. That’s about 10 percent of the entire flight. However, there was a serious risk that the spacecraft carrying the space tourists might not make it safely back to the runway in a glide flight and would not land at SpacePort America, but instead crash in the desert.
After this information was revealed, NASA and the FAA ordered an investigation into the matter, which is supposed to clarify what really happened and whether similar events can be prevented in the future. It is worth mentioning here that a well-known and distinguished pilot, Mark “Forger” Stucky, recently left the company for this reason. He accuses the company of sweeping under the rug very serious technical problems with the vehicles.
Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the regular tourist flights to the edge of space from Virgin Galactic will be delayed until the middle of next year. The flight with Italian tourists, which was scheduled for late September, will most likely not take place.