Finally, Richard Branson‘s dream has a good chance of being realized. Virgin Galactic has signed a deal with the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), which will allow it to charter space flights from its base in the US state of New Mexico. In addition, it paves the way for commercial flights of the space plane, SpaceShipTwo, which is currently being developed. The agreement also sets out the parameters for how commercial, licensed space launches from Spaceport America will be integrated into US air space.
In addition, the agreement outlines how the FAA’s air traffic control centre in Albuquerque and the New Mexico Spaceport Authority will work with Virgin Galactic to ensure safe airspace for the SpaceShipTwo.
According to the company’s website, hundreds of people have signed up for tickets, priced at $250,000 each, since bookings opened in 2005.
“Our team is working hard to begin routine and affordable space launches from Spaceport America and this agreement brings us another step closer to that goal,” George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said in a statement.