Such a decision is connected with plans to refine the equipment and the need to conduct additional tests of the design and materials of the devices.

Billionaire Richard Branson’s American company Virgin Galactic has postponed the start of commercial suborbital flights to the fourth quarter of next year. Her press service announced this.

Such a decision is connected with plans to refine the equipment and the need to conduct additional tests of the design and materials of the devices. “The completion program will start a month later than expected, and the start of commercial services is now expected in the fourth quarter of 2022,” the report says.

At the same time, Virgin Galactic will conduct the previously announced test flight of the Unity 23 spacecraft with the Italian Air Force during this time, but the exact launch date is not specified.

Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic, made a suborbital flight on July 11 on the Unity 22 spacecraft developed by his company. The device was lifted to an altitude of about 15 km on an Eve plane, after which it separated and began to move independently. Unity 22 reached an altitude of 86 km. The U.S. Air Force believes that this point is located outside the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Still, it is located below the Pocket line (more than 100 km, space flight according to the classification of the International Aviation Federation). The passengers had a few minutes to unfasten their seat belts and experience a state of weightlessness.