- Virgin Galactic spiked as much as 40% on Friday after it received FAA approval to fly customers to space.
- It is the first time the FAA has granted approval to a commercial space flight company to carry customers.
- Founder Richard Branson is expected to board a Virgin Galactic test flight sometime next month.
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The approval makes Virgin Galactic the first spaceline company in history to receive the approval, according to the company, and it marks a key step in the company’s ambition to become the leading space tourism company.
“Today’s approval by the FAA of our full commercial launch license, in conjunction with the success of our May 22 test flight, give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier said.
Virgin Galactic has more than 600 “astronauts” waiting in line to briefly visit space, paying a price of at least $250,000.
Following its successful test flight in May, the company is gearing up to launch its founder, billionaire investor Richard Branson, into space later next month.
Branson isn’t the only billionaire looking to hitch a ride to space. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hopes to board his Blue Origin test flight on July 20.