Virgin Galactic receives FAA approval for commercial space trips

Virgin Galactic is the first spaceliner to be authorized by the US Federal Aviation Administration to transport passengers aboard its spaceplanes. Virgin Galactic adjusts its operators license since 2016, as it prepares for the last three test flights and the first fully-crewed flight in the next months.Friday's announcement follows Virgin Galactic's first powered test flight of the VSS Unity spaceplane from Spaceport America, New Mexico on May 22, 2021. This was performed by the VMS Eve mothership.Unity released its hybrid rocket engine and sent it on a suborbital path at Mach 3 (1,985 kph, 2,284 miles, 3,675 km/h), to an altitude 55.5 miles (89 km). This was the third Virgin Galactic flight that reached the edge of space, and the first to be launched from New Mexico.Engineers collected data during the flight on the performance and cabin environment of the aircraft's upgraded horizontal stabilizers, flight controls, and flight controls to ensure they were operating as expected. These new flight systems provide better control for the pilot and will be integrated into future Virgin Galactic spacecraft.The May test not only tested the flight systems but also included three paid research projects that were part NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. The pilots had to maintain Unity's predetermined trajectory during these microgravity experiments.We were extremely pleased with the results from our latest test flight. It met all of our flight test objectives. Michael Colglazier Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Galactic. The flight was flawless and the results show the elegance and safety of our flight system. We are confident as we move forward to our first fully-crewed test flight this summer, thanks to today's FAA approval of our full commercial launch licence.