August 01, 2016

FAA-AST Awards Virgin Galactic Operator License for SpaceShipTwo

New Spaceship Conducts Taxi Test as it Nears Start of Flight Test Program

 

We kicked off August with two important milestones.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA-AST) has awarded Virgin Galactic an operator license for SpaceShipTwo. The license award, which will ultimately permit commercial operations of the vehicle, was the culmination of several years of in-depth interaction with the FAA.  The license review process consists of an in-depth review of the vehicles system design, safety analysis and flight trajectory analysis, culminating in FAA-AST approval.

And earlier this morning, our team conducted a taxi test with SpaceShipTwo (VSS Unity) and Range Rover Autobiography provided by Virgin Galactic’s automotive partner Land Rover. This test is an important step towards the flight test program.

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We couldn’t be more proud of our team and their hard work to reach both milestones.

Virgin Galactic Senior Vice President of Operations Mike Moses said, “The granting of our operator license is an important milestone for Virgin Galactic, as is our first taxi test for our new spaceship. While we still have much work ahead to fully test this spaceship in flight, I am confident that our world-class team is up to the challenge.”

Check back soon for more details about the flight test program and what to expect on the ground and in the skies.