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VSS Imagine

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VSS Imagine
ManufacturerThe Spaceship Company
Country of originUnited States
OperatorVirgin Galactic
ApplicationsSuborbital spaceflight
Spacecraft typeSpaceplane
SeriesSpaceShip III
StatusDevelopment canceled

VSS Imagine (Virgin Space Ship Imagine) is an unflown SpaceShip III-class suborbital rocket-powered crewed spaceplane. It was the first SpaceShip III to be ordered and built, and was intended to be used as part of the Virgin Galactic fleet. The spacecraft was rolled out 30 March 2021 and was planned to undergo ground and glide testing during summer 2021. As of January 2024, it had not yet flown (in any form: not a captive carry flight, glide flight, powered flight or any other type of flight).[1] By June 2024, development of Imagine and VSS Inspire was canceled, with the intention of using the vehicles for ground testing and development for the successor Delta-class spacecraft.[2]


VSS Imagine, the first SpaceShip III suborbital spaceplane for Virgin Galactic was announced on 25 February 2021 and was rolled out 30 March 2021. It was one of two SpaceShip III class spacecraft on order by Virgin Galactic, the second being VSS Inspire.[3]

In November 2021 and again in November 2023, Virgin Galactic stated that it was slowing work on the vehicle to focus on getting VMS Eve and VSS Unity back to flight while starting development of its next-generation vehicles.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Virgin Galactic Unveils VSS Imagine, The First SpaceShip III In Its Growing Fleet". 30 March 2021. Archived from the original on 11 July 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  2. ^ Sheetz, Michael (13 June 2024). "Investing in Space: Virgin Galactic enters spaceflight hiatus after retiring Unity". CNBC.
  3. ^ Roulette, Joey (30 March 2021). "Virgin Galactic unveils new SpaceShip III". Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  4. ^ Foust, Jeff (1 March 2023). "Virgin Galactic in final phases of return to flight". Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  5. ^ Foust, Jeff (2022-11-04). "Virgin Galactic delays introduction of second suborbital spaceship". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2024-01-29.