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U.S. FAA clears Virgin Galactic for further flights

Edinburgh, 1 October 2021. – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared Virgin Galactic to resume launches, Virgin Galactic said.

The FAA carried out an investigation as the rocket plane deviated from its course while descending during July’s flight.

The FAA barred Virgin from flying SpaceShipTwo until the investigation to determine the issues would not affect public safety was over. Virgin said they were committed to safety and appreciated the FAA’s review.

The company claimed that the change in flight path was caused by high-altitude winds and that the crew responded aptly. The firm added that dipping below the intended airspace for one minute 41 seconds did not cause a public hazard.

The FAA accepted the corrective measures in protocols proposed by Virgin. According to these, the company will incorporate additional steps to provide real-time notifications to FAA air traffic control.

The firm will also designate a wider area as protected airspace to secure enough room for a variety of trajectories. With the FAA clearance, Virgin’s plans for another SpaceShipTwo flight in October might go ahead.

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