So, you quite fancy flying into space with Virgin Galactic? It seems as though your dream is inching closer to reality.
The latest news in terms of the Virgin space flights project is that the firm has come to an agreement with the US Federal Aviation Authority. Under the terms of the deal Virgin will be able to charter space flights from their New Mexico base in the US. Virgin Galactic is co-owned by Richard Branson and Aabar Investments from Abu Dhabi.
The terms of the agreement also detail how the Virgin flights will be dealt with in terms of US air space integration. The idea is that the first space flight will take off by the end of this year. The word from Virgin Galactic is that this move means that the whole space flight thing is “another step closer” to happening.
Under the terms of the deal, the FAA will use their air traffic control centre in Albuquerque, New Mexico and their Spaceport Authority to work with Virgin to make sure that there is enough clear airspace for their space vehicle. The space plane they are expected to use is the SpaceShipTwo.
Test Flights in California
As well as this latest piece of good news, Virgin has also already come to an agreement with the US state of California that will allow them to carry out test flights there.
One of the other firms vying to get their space planes up in the air as quickly as possible is SpaceX. They have recently announced that the FAA has advised that their plan to build a new spaceport in Texas would have no adverse environmental consequences. The firm has not yet announced an estimated launch date for their first space flight.
Would you be excited about taking a space flight?