FAA clears Virgin Galactic to resume flights after investigation

FAA clears Virgin Galactic to resume flights after investigation

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that Richard Branson’s space tourism company can return to spaceflight after conducting an investigation into issues with the firm’s July 11 launch.

A probe into the flight, which included Branson as a passenger, found the company’s SpaceShipTwo deviated from its assigned airspace as it descended to Spaceport America in New Mexico, according to the FAA.

“The FAA also found Virgin Galactic failed to communicate the deviation to the FAA as required,” the agency said.

The FAA had grounded Virgin while the investigation proceeded.

The agency said it required Virgin to implement changes regarding communication to the FAA during flight operations to keep the public safe.

“Virgin Galactic has made the required changes and can return to flight operations,” the FAA said in a news release.

The FAA said it is responsible for protecting the public from potential space mishaps, while Virgin Galactic is responsible for protecting its crew.

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