The Big Think

May 31, 2014

Up, Up, and Away

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 10:34 pm

Virgin Galactic Is Getting Cleared For Takeoff From Spaceport America – Forbes:

“This week, Virgin Galactic announced that it has signed an agreement with the FAA that begins the process of getting its commercial space flights cleared for takeoff.

Specifically, the deal will lay out how the FAA will coordinate with Spaceport America, the commercial spaceport in New Mexico where Virgin will launch its suborbital flights. The spaceport will work in conjunction with the FAA’s Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center to ensure clear airspace for the flights.

‘Our team is working hard to begin routine and affordable space launches from Spaceport America and this agreement brings us another step closer to that goal,’ Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in a statement. ‘We are grateful to the FAA and New Mexico for their partnership to achieve this milestone.’

The company hopes to launch its first flight by the end of 2014, and the company’s founder Richard Branson plans to be on that flight. But there are still quite a few steps it needs to take to get there. For one, the company still needs to obtain a license from the FAA to operate commercial flights.”

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