The spaceflight company, for private individuals and researchers, says it marks the first time the FAA has licensed a spaceline to fly the paying public.
Virgin Galactic has held a licence since 2016.
The Company also announced that it has completed an extensive review of data gathered from its May 22 test flight and confirmed that the flight met all its objectives.
As we reported, it completed the second SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America, in the Jornada del Muerto desert basin in New Mexico.
The data collected during the flight apparently confirmed that: the rocket-powered test of the spaceship’s upgraded horizontal stabilisers and flight controls met performance expectations; the cabin environment data was in line with predictions; and the flight successfully carried three revenue-generating research experiments that tested and demonstrated technologies in microgravity as part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program.
“We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight, which achieved our stated flight test objectives. The flight performed flawlessly, and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system,” said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic.
“Today’s approval by the FAA of our full commercial launch license, in conjunction with the success of our May 22 test flight, give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer.”
See also: Inside the passenger cabin of Branson’s spacecraft