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Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has cleared Virgin Galactic to return to spaceflight operations after concluding an investigation into the company's July trip to suborbital space, Virgin Galactic said in a statement Wednesday.

Why it matters: The high-profile flight, carrying billionaire Richard Branson, was seen as a step forward for the company to begin commercial services in the near future.

  • The good news caused Virgin Galactic shares to rise more than 9%, per MarketWatch.

Catch up quick: Virgin Galactic's space plane was grounded earlier this month after the FAA learned that the plane veered off course and flew outside its designated airspace during the flight. The probe investigated whether the issues at hand could affect public safety.

  • The FAA also found that Virgin Galactic hadn't communicated the deviation as required, it said in a statement Wednesday.

The big picture: The FAA noted that Virgin Galactic has made the "required changes" in how it communicates with the FAA during flights.

  • Virgin Galactic added that it has accepted updated calculations “to expand the protected airspace” during future flights.

Go deeper

Unruly airplane behavior on the rise, new FAA data shows

United Airlines planes are seen at Newark International Airport in New Jersey on Sept. 29. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Incidences involving unruly passengers on commercial flights are on the rise, according to Federal Aviation Administration data released Tuesday, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The new figures come as the FAA has sought to crack down on unruly passenger incidents, which have surged during the pandemic.

Updated 3 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.