SPACE shuttle company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc is postponing commercial flights into space next year and no more trials this year.

Virgin Galactic, quoted by Reuters on Friday (10/15), said commercial flights into space would begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The United States aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, on September 2 banned Virgin Galactic from flying SpaceShipTwo, pending reports of a rocket that flew Richard Branson earlier.

Branson, owner of Virgin Galactic, flew the 80-kilometre into space last July with five other select people.

The FAA on September 29 finished investigating the launch of Virgin Galactic Unity 22. The plane had deviation issues when it descended. The FAA also lifted the no-fly order.

Last September, Virgin Galactic announced plans to fly Unity 23 from New Mexico, which was delayed due to technical and weather problems. They plan to fly Unity 23 as early as mid-October.

Later they changed this commercial flight plan. Virgin Galactic is currently prioritizing the upgrade program and will only test flights once the program is complete. After that, they will start commercial flights. The upgrade program is to improve vehicle performance and flight capability. [sources/photo special]