Virgin Galactic is now allowed to test out its brand new SpaceShipTwo (VSS Unity) shuttle, as it has been granted its commercial operation license by FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).
Maybe not ready yet for primetime SpaceShipTwo could bring 6 people at 68 miles (110km) above earth’s surface. Not like other “conventional” rockets, it’s being launched by another aircraft called WhiteKnightTwo, and ignites itself along the way.
SpaceShipTwo’s passengers will experience zero gravity at the edge of space for a few minutes, before safely re-entering earth’s atmosphere with the wings shifting to allow best safety requirements. That’s what its licence will allow Virgin Galactic to try out, as soon as the spaceplane will be ready. Note that they just conducted their first “taxi test” while tracted by partner Ranger Rover Autobiography SUV.
The company is very proud of its first achievements as says Senior VP of Operations Mike Moss : “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”