The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Wednesday that Virgin Galactic has been allowed to resume flights to its spaceship to spacecraft. During the mission, SpaceShipTwo strayed from its designated airspace, and Virgin Galactic did not tell the FAA when it should have.
Now that its investigation is closed, the FAA requires Virgin Galactic to make changes to “how it communicates with the FAA during flight operations to keep the public safe.” Virgin Galactic said it included “the latest calculations to increase safe airspace for future flights” and “FAA Air Traffic Control to ensure real-time mission notifications for the company’s flight procedures.” Additional measures are included. ” Another change: “The latest calculations to increase safe airspace for future flights,” the company said.
The July 11 mission, called Unity 22, took Branson and three of the company’s employees to the edge of space and returned Virgin Galactic’s spaceport to US facilities in New Mexico. The company’s SpaceShipTwo, a winged submarine spacecraft with two pilots, flew at an altitude of 53.5 miles, carrying out a highly publicized mission. The company has a backlog of 600 paying customers who are waiting for their flight opportunity.
The mission seemed successful months later, on September 1, when. New Yorker The pilots were reportedly alerted to a light warning as they launched their rocket into space. These warnings indicated that the spacecraft was not ascending vertically so that it could move freely back to Earth once it reached space.
“We appreciate the FAA’s thorough review of this investigation. Our test flight program is specifically designed to improve our processes and procedures,” said Michael Colglazer, CEO of Virgin Galactic. “Our whole approach to space flight is focused on safety,” I said. “Updates to our airspace and real-time mission notification protocols will strengthen our preparations as we approach the commercial launch of our space flight experience.”
The company’s next flight, the Unit 23, is a research mission that flies three members of the Italian Air Force. Virgin Galactic says the FAA investigation did not affect Unit 23’s timeline, but another technical issue could push things back. Earlier this month, the company said that “a third-party supplier has recently identified a potential manufacturing glitch in a component of the flight control activation system that they provide to Virgin Galactic,” and that ” The company expects to open its flight window as soon as possible. “The alliance is in mid-October.