British spaceflight company Virgin Galactic has revealed plans to conduct the first rocket-powered flight test in New Mexico next week.

Earlier last month, the company deferred its next crewed spaceflight test in response to coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines issued by the New Mexico Department of Health.

According to the latest update, the new flight window for its rocket-powered VSS Unity spacecraft opens on 11 December.

However, the schedule is subject to weather conditions and technical readiness.

Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said: “With safety as our core priority, we remain committed to completing our first powered flight in New Mexico.

“In accordance with local government guidelines and safety protocols, we have minimised the number of people onsite to the greatest degree possible.

“While on this occasion, no media or guests will be allowed on-site, our team will endeavour to capture and share the beautiful images with the world after the flight has been completed.

“We look forward to completing this important milestone in our test flight programme in the coming weeks.”

The flight will be conducted in the presence of essential personnel only. No guest and media personals will be permitted to adhere to Covid-19 protocols.

With this flight, Virgin Galactic will test elements of the customer cabin and evaluate upgraded horizontal stabilisers and flight controls.

As part of the Nasa Flight Opportunities Program, the flight will also carry payloads.

The company has already conducted two spaceflights recognised by the federal government.

It is planning two more test spaceflights before flying its founder Sir Richard Branson, which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.