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Virgin Galactic Holdings Plans Mesa, Arizona, Assembly Facility

Aerospace and space travel leader Virgin Galactic Holdings signed a long-term lease for a new final assembly manufacturing facility for its next-generation Delta class spaceships in Mesa, Arizona. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the greater Phoenix region.

The facility is adjacent to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and will be capable of producing up to six spaceships per year, according to company officials. The facility is already under construction and will be fully operational by late 2023.

“Our spaceship final assembly factory is key to accelerating the production of our Delta fleet, enabling a rapid increase in flight capacity that will drive our revenue growth,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. “We’re thrilled to expand into the greater Phoenix area which is home to outstanding aerospace talent, and we look forward to growing our team and fleet at our new facility.”

Final assembly manufacturing processes at the facility will be underpinned by a digital twin architecture which enables seamless integration between the company and suppliers allowing for real-time collaboration, strong governance, and an increase in production efficiency and reliability.

“Arizona is a growing innovation hub, geographically situated between our existing operations in Southern California and New Mexico,” added Swami Iyer, Virgin Galactic’s President of Aerospace Systems. “This will allow us to accelerate progress from conceptual design to production to final assembly at scale as we capitalize on the many advantages Mesa and the Greater Phoenix area offer.”

The Delta class spaceship is Virgin Galactic’s production vehicle that is designed to fly weekly, supporting the company’s target of 400 flights per year from Spaceport America. Based on current schedules, the first of these ships is expected to commence revenue-generating payload flights in late 2025, progressing to private astronaut flights in 2026.

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