TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Virgin Galactic is shifting some of its focus from spaceships to helping fight coronavirus. Virgin Galactic has spent the past decade trying to build a spaceship that will launch tourists from the New Mexico spaceport.
For now, it is using its resources and knowledge to help healthcare workers. The aerospace company announced a partnership with NASA on Monday.
Employees are making progress in developing a PPB hood. It is a device designed to support COVID-19 patients with oxygen, reducing the need for ventilators.
They have transformed their rocket ship test hanger in Mojave to an assembly line to make the hoods and are on track to produce 400 of them. They are also working on another project to build negative pressure enclosures which are a special kind of equipment to cover patients on a gurney or hospital bed.
They are designed to protect medical staff by containing air from a sick patient so it doesn’t contaminate the room. They hope to more widely test the enclosures over the next several weeks. The PPB hoods will be made available to a hospital in Lancaster, California.
Virgin Galactic moved its only fully-functional spaceship to New Mexico in February before the pandemic, hoping to finally launch commercial space flights by the end of the year.
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