Virgin Galactic gets FAA approval

With plans to launch space flights that will put travelers back about $250,000 per ticket, Virgin Galactic is setting itself up to take normal, albeit wealthy, people into space, the final frontier. In fact, even pop star Lady Gaga has secured a ride, that will include a special performance by her in honor of the event. The spaceport in New Mexico, dubbed Spaceport America, has been officially dedicated.
Now, Virgin Galactic has received approval from the FAA to launch its flights from there. The agreement with the FAA lays out rules that Virgin Galactic will need to follow to work with the National Airspace System. It also outlines safety procedures for commercial space launches from Spaceport America.
Virgin Galactic has already secured a 20-year lease on the spaceport, which has a Launch Site Operator License. So basically, all that’s left is SpaceshipTwo’s launch itself. The company also has agreements in place with the state of California for test flights.
SpaceShipTwo only seats a total of eight people. A small aircraft will carry it into space, where the two will unlink and SpaceShipTwo’s rockets will fire, launching it into suborbital space. Once there, passengers will be able to undo their harnesses and float around in space.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is also working to secure an agreement for a spaceport in Texas with a plan to launch 12 rockets each year from that location. In the meantime, SpaceX is more focused on providing support to NASA for delivering supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station.