Virgin Galactic Stock Tumbles Following Flight Delay – Is It Still Worth Buying?
Virgin Galactic announced it was delaying its first commercial research space mission — the Unity 23 test flight — after a third-party supplier recently flagged a potential defect in a component of the flight control system. Virgin Galactic shares tumbled this morning following the announcement.
It is not yet known whether the defect is present in the company’s vehicles and what, if any, repair work may be needed, the company said in a statement.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and in line with Virgin Galactic’s established safety procedures, the Company is in the process of conducting inspections in partnership with the vendor,” according to the statement.
At this point, the earliest Virgin Galactic expects to open its flight window for Unity 23 is mid-October, and a further update and specific flight window will be shared once the inspection is complete, in coordination with the Italian Air Force, it said in the statement.
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“We have a robust pre-flight readiness approach that is rooted in our thorough, proactive and safety-first culture,” Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said in the statement. “There is nothing more important to us than the integrity of our vehicles. Our test flight processes and procedures are rigorous and structured to identify and resolve these types of issues. We look forward to taking to the skies again soon.”
This issue is unrelated to the Unity 22 flight or the current FAA matter, which is focused on air traffic control clearance and communications, the company added.
The stock has gained more than 6% so far in 2021 and 44% over the past year, according to Barron’s.
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