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Virgin Galactic wins first 'spaceline' licence from US aviation regulator

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Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE) said it has been granted regulatory permission to fly customers to space, the first company to receive a ‘spaceline’ licence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This follows a successful test flight for its VSS Unity spaceship last month.

In a first for the FAA, it has the company’s commercial space transportation operator license to allow the spaceline to fly customers to space.

Having now completed its review of data gathered from its May 22 test flight, Virgin Galactic said the flight performed well against all flight objectives.

Chief executive Michael Colglazier said, “We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight, which achieved our stated flight test objectives. The flight performed flawlessly, and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system. Today’s approval by the FAA of our full commercial launch license, in conjunction with the success of our May 22 test flight, give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer.”

Following the May test flight from its Spaceport America site in New Mexico, flight data showed the rocket-powered test of the spaceship’s improved horizontal stabilizers and flight controls demonstrated “strong performance”, with the newly improved systems allowing for finer pilot control.

Cabin environment data was in line with predictions, the company added, with the pilots flying on a specific trajectory designed to allow the three revenue-generating research experiments to be carried out in microgravity, as part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. 

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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