FAA grounds Virgin Galactic’s core spaceship pending probe into Richard Branson’s flight

FAA grounds Virgin Galactic’s core spaceship pending probe into Richard Branson’s flight


Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo is grounded until the Federal Aviation Administration completes and signs off on an investigation into the company’s high-profile test flight carrying Richard Branson, the agency said Thursday. During that July flight, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo veered out of its approved airspace on its descent toward land, the FAA said.

The company “may not return the SpaceShipTwo vehicle to flight until the FAA approves the final mishap investigation report or determines the issues related to the mishap do not affect public safety,” an FAA spokesperson said on Thursday. SpaceShipTwo, a winged suborbital space tourism plane that launches to the edge of space from a carrier aircraft, landed its crew of Branson and…

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