Virgin Galactic Cleared For Takeoff

Virgin Galactic. Spaceport America.

Who wants to go to space? If you’ve got a spare $250,000 lying around, then you can now purchase a ticket with the commercial spaceflight company Virgin Galactic. It will allow you to hop on board the craft SpaceShipTwo which will take you on a journey into suborbital space.

What is even more exciting is that thanks to a deal with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Virgin Galactic hope to start sending their first customers to suborbital space from the U.S. by the end of 2014.

The agreement, which was announced to the public on Thursday, details how the company will work with New Mexico’s federal air traffic control center and Spaceport Authority in order to clear airspace for the commercial launches. Virgin Galactic had previously signed another deal with the FAA which permits their test flights in California.

The SpaceShipTwo flights will take off from Spaceport America, New Mexico, carrying two pilots and six passengers to an altitude of 100 kilometers. For the first leg of the journey, the craft will be carried by a larger plane called WhiteKnightTwo. Once they reach an altitude of 15,000 meters SpaceShipTwo will detach and the craft’s rocket engine will hurl it into suborbital space.

According to company officials, passengers will experience weightlessness and will be able to get a incredible view of our planet. Better start saving our pennies!  

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