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Branson's Virgin Galactic gets FAA approval to fly people to space

Branson's Virgin Galactic gets FAA approval to fly people to space

FILE PHOTO: Sir Richard Branson stands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the start of trading in Virgin Galactic in New York, Oct. 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

REUTERS: Billionaire Richard Branson's spaceship company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc said on Friday it received approval from the U.S. aviation safety regulator to fly people to space, following a successful test flight last month.

Virgin Galactic completed its first manned space flight from its new home port in New Mexico in May, as its SpaceShipTwo craft, which can hold six passengers, glided to a landing on a runway safely with its two pilots.

The approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) comes at a critical time for Branson as his space venture faces competition from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.

"Today's approval by the FAA...give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer," Virgin Galactic Chief Executive Officer Michael Colglazier said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

Source: Reuters

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