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Virgin space flights cleared for US take-off
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (AFP) May 29, 2014


Virgin space flights cleared for US take-off
Los Angeles (AFP) May 29, 2014 - Richard Branson's dream of commercial space flights took a step nearer reality after Virgin Galactic signed a deal with US aviation authorities to let it blast paying customers into space, the company said Thursday.

The agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets out how routine space missions from the Spaceport America base in the US state of New Mexico will be coordinated with the normal air traffic control system.

Commercial flights are to begin by the end of this year and more than 600 people have already signed up at $250,000 each to take a trip on SpaceShipTwo.

"Our team is working hard to begin routine and affordable space launches from Spaceport America and this agreement brings us another step closer to that goal," said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.

"We are grateful to the FAA and New Mexico for their partnership to achieve this milestone."

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