FAA Clears Virgin Galactic for Commercial Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic spaceplane
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The FAA has given Virgin Galactic approval to begin transporting commercial passengers to suborbital space aboard its VSS spaceplane. The company promises stunning views of Earth and several minutes of weightlessness during a two-hour trip.

TechCrunch reports that the FAA has given Virgin Galactic permission to begin transporting commercial passengers to space abords its VSS spacecraft. This is s major expansion of the company’s current license which granted it permission to fly professional test pilots and astronauts to suborbital space using its spaceplane.

Now, Virgin Galactic can begin operating as the first official “spaceline.” The company plans to provide regular service for space tourists and researchers to suborbital space, with an experience including views of Earth and a few minutes of weightlessness during the two-hour trip.

The FAA’s approval is a huge step for Virgin Galactic but there is still work for the company to do before it begins its regular service flights for customers. The company must complete three remaining test flights before it can carry its first paying passenger. These will be the first flights of the Virgin spacecraft and its carrier plane while a full crew is on board.

Company CEO Michael Golglazier stated that the aim is still to fly for the first of those test flights sometime “this summer.” A report from earlier this month claims that Virgin Galactic backer Sir Richard Branson could fly on the next test flight that could occur as early as the coming July 4 weekend.

Breitbart News recently reported that more than 66,000 people have signed two petitions calling for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to not reenter Earth’s atmosphere after he launches into space next month. Bezos, who along with running Amazon and enjoying his status as the world’s richest man is also the founder of space-exploration firm Blue Origin, said earlier this month that he and his brother Mark Bezos would be flying into space aboard the company’s New Shepard rocket on July 20.

Read more at TechCrunch here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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