The FAA has upgraded Virgin Galactic’s commercial space transportation operator license to allow the company to carry paying passengers to space. It has been reported that Virgin Galactic currently has over 600 reservations for its planned commercial passenger spaceflights with ticket prices running between $200,000 and $250,000. The licensing update comes after the company successfully completed its third crewed spaceflight last May.
“We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight, which achieved our stated flight test objectives,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier. “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.”
As previously reported by AVweb, the May flight test used the company’s VMS Eve launch platform and VSS Unity spacecraft. Unity hit a top speed of Mach 3 and reached an altitude of 55.5 miles. Three additional test flights are planned prior to the launch of commercial passenger operations.