NASA, Virgin Galactic Partner For Superfast Commercial Space Travel


NASA is teaming up with Virgin Galactic for a new venture involving superfast air travel. The partnership strives to advance the US' efforts to produce technically feasible, high-Mac vehicles for potential civil applications, noted Virgin Galactic representatives. NASA has signed a Space Act Agreement with Virgin Galactic and its subsidiary The Spaceship Company.

NASA, Virgin Galactic Partner For Superfast Commercial Space Travel


The new partnership between the organizations could enhance the future development of aviation technology. "Virgin Galactic's unique experience and innovative technology platform will, in partnership with the historic capabilities of NASA and other government agencies, enable the progression of new technical steps that will improve U.S. competitiveness," said the CEO George Whitesides said in the statement.

NASA, Virgin Galactic Partner For Space Tourism

Additionally, the company is investing heavily in its commercial spaceflight operations, which is also expected to expand exponentially. Virgin Galactic is prepping to fly customers to and from suborbital space on VSS Unity, its SpaceShip Two spaceplane. The VSS Unity is a six-passenger spaceship and is set to begin testing soon, with operational flights out of New Mexico.

For many years now, Virgin Galactic's primary interest has been in the establishment of a suborbital spaceline, the company representatives said. This further stresses the company's interest in ferrying passengers on superfast trips to space. So far, more than 600 people have reserved a seat to fly aboard the SpaceShip Two. However, Virgin Galactic isn't selling any more tickets at the moment.

It's also clear that Virgin Galactic and its subsidiaries and partners are seeking to develop a vehicle for the next generation of safe and efficient high-speed air travel. At the same time, the company has highlighted to keep customer experience and environmental responsibility in mind.

NASA's Role In Space Tourism

Of course, NASA would play a vital role in all kinds of space travel and is becoming an important part of Virgin Galactic's ambitious project. James Kenyon, director of NASA's Aeronautics Advanced Air Vehicles Program, said in the same statement that " This Space Act Agreement will enable NASA to collaborate with Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company to allow our organizations to take advantage of new tools, techniques, and technologies developed over the last 50 years and to explore potential new solutions for the commercial aviation industry."

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