Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Tue August 02 2016

Virgin Galactic Gets a License for Its Rocket Ship

Airlines & Airports | Michael Schottey | August 02, 2016

Virgin Galactic Gets a License for Its Rocket Ship

 PHOTO: Virgin Owner Richard Branson (Photo by Paul Kane, Getty Images) 

Virgin Galactic has taken another step forward in the commercial space race.

The Sir Richard Branson-owned company received operator licenses today for its newest commercial spaceship, the VSS Unity and companion rocket WhiteKnightTwo. Eventually, the company believes the license will lead to a commercial space flight.

The company recently unveiled Unity in a video on its YouTube page:

The price for Virgin Galactic’s space flights begin at $250,000, and they have already collected deposits from about 700 potential spacemen and spacewomen.

In a statement, 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.”

 READ MORE: Flying Cars May Be Here Sooner THan You Think 

Much testing and rigorous oversight has gone into the licensing process, and even more so because of issues with the company’s SpaceShipTwo launch, which crashed in the Mojave Desert and killed one pilot, injuring another.

The licensing process involves plenty of testing, but Virgin has completed rigorous ground testing of its own with flight testing expected in the near future. 


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