The exploration of space is soon going to be a reality and thank’s to Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. Virgin Atlantic the space exploration company have recently scored a major milestone milestone for their sub-orbital space tourism.

Virgin Galactic and its partner Scaled Composites received an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration, the first for a manned experimental aircraft. Considering there have been numerous test flights of both the mother ship (WhiteKnightTwo) and spacecraft (SpaceShipTwo) since 2009.

CEO George Whitesides said “Over the next six to eight weeks, we’ll continue integrating rocket motor components into the vehicle [SpaceShiptTwo] itself,” Whitesides told me. “Simultaneously we’ll be finishing ground tests of the rocket motor and then towards the end of the year we’ll get into the vehicle and get up to 50,000 feet for our first powered flight. It’ll be a short burn but we’ll probably get up to supersonic speed to see how the vehicle does.”

Even though there will be more tests over the next year, a commercial operating license from the FAA is the next milestone, says Whitesides. “Getting this experimental permit keeps us on track for the first milestone and within reach of that 2013 milestone.”


Source: Tech Crunch.

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