Virgin Galactic cleared by US for launches

Oliver Smith
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RICHARD Branson’s Virgin Galactic took one small step towards its goal of commercial space flight yesterday after agreeing with US flight authorities on a flight path for its space shuttles to use.

The flight path from Virgin Galactic’s multi-million dollar US base Spaceport America has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide airspace for Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo to begin test launches this year, one of the first of which will see Branson travel into space along with his family.

“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,” said Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides.