Virgin Galactic gains licence for commercial spaceflights

VSS Unity
Virgin Galactic
Head shot of Tania Steere.  She is smiling, with long, wavy blonde hair
by Tania Steere
25 June 2021

Virgin Galactic is now allowed to fly customers to space after receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a Full Commercial Launch Licence.

Virgin Galactic has also announced that it has completed an extensive review of data gathered from its 22 May test flight and confirmed that the flight performed well against all flight objectives.

With the data analysis from the May flight now complete, Virgin Galactic will continue preparing for the three test flights remaining before commercial service can begin.

Virgin Galactic first human spaceflight from New Mexico 2021
Virgin Galactic

The adjustment to Virgin Galactic’s operator’s license, which the Company has held since 2016, marks the first time the FAA has licensed a spaceline to fly customers. It is further validation of the Company’s methodical testing program, which has met the verification and validation criteria required by the FAA.

Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, 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.”

For more details around the latest test flight head to their website and to keep up to date with Virgin Galactic’s developments, follow the spaceline on Twitter.