FAA Clears Commercial Passenger Space Flights

Virgin Galactic will launch customers into space from New Mexico.

On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration updated the license of Virgin Galactic, the rocketship company owned by Richard Branson. The move was the final step in the company’s years-long efforts to send paying passengers on short space flights. The company is working toward three more test flights, with one scheduled for this summer. If the test flights go well, passengers will be able to pay for a ride next year.

The company’s close competitor, SpaceX’s subsidiary Blue Origin, plans to have its owner Jeff Bezos ride his own rocket into space July 20 from Texas.

Virgin Galactic uses a winged spacecraft that launches from the belly of an airplane. It has reached space three times since 2018 with two pilots in the cockpit. The second trip carried a third company employee.

“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,” the company’s chief executive officer Michael Colglazier stated.

More than 600 people have already reserved a ride to space. Tickets initially cost $250,000, but the price is expected to go up once Virgin Galactic starts accepting reservations again.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For safety officials as the upcoming passenger flights into space are approved and advancements are made into space commerce.
  • For the FAA as they regulate the aviation industry.

Sources: CBS, Washington Examiner


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