Virgin Galactic cleared to fly when FAA completes investigation

Texas News Today

The apex US aviation safety regulator said it allowed Virgin Galactic Holdings to re-fly into space, but the company was unable to explain mistakes it made during this summer’s high-profile mission.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it has completed a July flight investigation to bring Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and five others to the edge of space and return them to a facility in New Mexico. ..

The agency found that its spacecraft deviated from its allotted airspace during its landing on Earth, and Virgin Galactic did not report the error to the FAA as required.

Virgin Galactic said aviation regulators have accepted a proposal to change the way space missions are conducted. According to the company, these changes include designating a wider area as a protected airspace to allow for possible orbital variations during missions and when the company is in flight. This includes taking steps to ensure communication with the FAA’s air traffic control.

“Airspace updates and real-time mission notification protocols will strengthen our preparedness as we approach the commercial launch of our spaceflight experience,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Corgrazier said in a statement. Growth.

An FAA spokesman declined to comment on Virgin Galactic’s planned communication changes. A company spokesperson declined to comment.

Shares in New Mexico-based Las Cruces rose more than 10% in overtime trading.

Virgin Galactic previously stated during its July flight that it shifted from the planned orbit to air for 1 minute 41 seconds while the spacecraft was returning to the ground. The company said the ship never flew in densely populated areas.

During the investigation, the FAA banned Virgin Galactic from flying into space. The agency is working to activate new systems to regulate spacecraft launch and re-entry, improve mission tracking, and reduce the effects of space travel air closures during the summer. I am

Earlier this month, Virgin Galactic said it plans to open a window in mid-October that could operate its next space mission until the FAA’s investigation is complete. The company also said it chose that time frame because it was working with vendors to analyze potential manufacturing defects in flight control system components.

The flight, which Virgin Galactic said would be the first commercial research mission, is slated to involve members of the Italian Air Force.

write to Micah Maidenberg ([email protected])

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It was published on the print edition of September 30, 2021 as “FAA Ends Probe of Virgin Galactic Flight”.

Virgin Galactic cleared to fly when FAA completes investigation

Source Link Virgin Galactic cleared for flight after FAA ends investigation

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