Virgin Galactic granted launch permit
- By Jack Preston -
- May 31, 2012
Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, have announced that their vehicle developer Scaled Composites has received an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The news paves the way for more critical test flights of its carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo and suborbital spacecraft SpaceShipTwo, following the already significant inroads made on their test programme – with 80 tests flights completed to date.
“This important milestone enables our team to progress to the rocket-powered phase of test flight, bringing us a major step closer to bringing our customers to space. We thank the FAA for their timely issuance of this permit, and for their responsible oversight of the test program,” explained George Whitesides, president and CEO of Virgin Galactic.
The granting of the permit will mean that Scaled Composites are free to head towards rocket-powered test flights, with SpaceShipTwo soon returning to flight in preparation for this. The permit is the first of its kind to be issued for a rocket-powered vehicle that carries humans on board, marking a key milestone in the development of Galactic.