The U.S. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) now allows Virgin Galactic, one of the rising space companies, to conduct its upcoming commercial flights. Various critics and other space experts claimed that this decision is the first step to space tourism.
(Photo : Photo by Virgin Galactic via Getty Images)
In this handout image distributed by Virgin Galactic, an artists impression is seen of a Virgin Galactic passenger spacecraft, released September 27, 2004, in London. Virgin Galactic hopes to be able to offer sub-orbital space tourist flights by 2007 with expected pricing to start at 115,000GBP per seat.
Thanks to FAA's 'go signal,' Virgin Galactic will soon be the first space airline once it transports commercial passengers to outer space.
"The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated the Company's existing commercial space transportation operator license to allow the spaceline to fly customers to space," said Virgin Galactic on June 25.
Aside from this, Virgin Galactic confirmed it already finished its May 22 test flight, as well as the extensive review of data gathered during the experiment.
FAA Gives the Go Signal!
However, Virgin Galactic is currently in the lead when it comes to space tourism. Instead of studying space and creating advanced rockets to reach other planets, the rising space company focuses on commercial space flights.
(Photo : Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Virgin employees sit in the cabin of a prototype Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spacecraft at the Science Museum on February 14, 2007 in London, England. The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo is destined to be the first ever vehicle for space tourism. The SpaceShipTwo will carry six passengers and two pilots, offering a total flight time of 2 hours.
According to Tech Crunch's latest report, Virgin Galactic aims to offer researchers and space tourists regular flight services to suborbital space. The company added that it will offer an experience that includes unparalleled views of Earth, as well as a few minutes of weightlessness during the roughly 2-hour trip.
Although FAA's approval might be a big deal, Virgin Galactic still needs to complete its three remaining flight tests before it can start sending out commercial passengers to space.
The company's CEO, Michael Colglazier, said that the company could start commercial flights this coming summer. However, this will still depend on the issues and other challenges they could face.
What Virgin Galactic Discovered During Flight Tests
Virgin Galactic's official website provided the things it discovered after analyzing its May 22 test flights' data. Here are some of them that you should know:
- The spacecraft's cabin environment data was in line with predictions.
- VSS Unity's pilots flew on a specific trajectory designed to meet the objectives of these research experiments.
- Virgin Galactic's enhanced systems can allow for finer pilot control.
For more news updates about Virgin Galactic and its upcoming commercial space flights, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.
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Written by: Griffin Davis