Virgin Galactic Stock Falls After Key Flight Delayed

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) announced late Friday that it would delay its first commercial research flight by several weeks.

SPCE stock tumbled Monday.

The commercial space company is now projecting late October instead of late September or early October for its Unity 23 research flight with the Italian Air Force due after a supplier warned of a possible “manufacturing defect” in a component of the flight control actuation system.

Virgin Galactic said it wasn’t clear if the issue is present in the company’s vehicles and if any repair work is needed.

It said that the delay is out of “abundance of caution.”

The research flight delay comes as regulators have grounded Virgin Galactic’s flights over a mishap.

The Federal Aviation Administration opened a probe earlier this month into Virgin Galactic’s flight on July 11 for veering off its projected flight path during descent.

The flight included two pilots, three crew members and founder Richard Branson.

SPCE Shares fell over 3% to 24.37 in pre-market trading on the stock market today. SPCE stock has been stuck below its 50- and 200-day lines for more than a month, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.