Jun 25, 2021 - Science
Virgin Galactic approved to carry passengers on spaceflights
Virgin Galactic got federal approval to carry passengers on future spaceflights — one of the final hurdles for Richard Branson's company to launch tourists into space.
The backdrop: There's a who-can-get-to-space-first battle brewing between Branson and fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos.
- Virgin Galactic has roughly 600 reservations for future flights, with tickets for as much as $250,000 a pop, CNBC reports.
But, but, but: The clearance isn’t a signoff on the safety of the space plane.
- For now, Congress has blocked the Federal Aviation Administration "from regulating the safety of the crew or space flight participants," the agency said.
Shares of Virgin Galactic closed up 39% — its biggest one-day gain since it went public in 2019.