ARIZONA NEWS

Virgin Galactic shifts focus to Mesa-built spaceship as part of realignment

Nov 13, 2023, 4:05 AM

Virgin Galactic's carrier aircraft, attached to the VSS Unity vehicle, takes off from Spaceport Ame...

Virgin Galactic's carrier aircraft, attached to the VSS Unity vehicle, takes off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The company is shifting resources from the Unity vehicle to its Delta-class ships, which will be built in Mesa. (Collin Krabbe/ABF)

(Collin Krabbe/ABF)

Virgin Galactic said progress is being made at its Mesa assembly facility now under construction, and that factory is becoming even more central to the space tourism company’s strategy as it shifts its focus to its Delta-class ships that will be built there.

Michael Colglazier, Virgin Galactic’s CEO, announced a strategic realignment of company resources aimed at focusing on that Delta program in a company-wide email to employees on Nov. 7 that announced an 18% overall workforce cut. That move, according to Colglazier, will “focus the entire company on realizing the profit potential from these ships,” he said during Virgin’s Q3 earnings call.

The building of the Delta-class ships is set to take place at the assembly factory at 5559 S. Sossaman Road in Mesa, and Colglazier said during its third quarter earnings call Nov. 8 it is expected to come online in Q2 2024.

That facility’s core and shell are “all done,” he said, and the company expects interior fit-out to take place in April with assemblies from Virgin Galactic’s two sub-assembly partners, Bell Textron Inc. and Qarbon Aerospace, to arrive middle of next year.

This story is posted in partnership with Phoenix Business Journal. Click to read the full story.

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Virgin Galactic shifts focus to Mesa-built spaceship as part of realignment