Virgin commercial spacecraft permitted to carry test flights

The US Federal Aviation Administration has cleared SpaceShipTwo, a commercial six-passenger spacecraft owned by Virgin Galactic, to begin rocket-powered suborbital test flights, the company said on Wednesday.

SpaceShipTwo manufacturer Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, received a one-year experimental launch permit on 23 May for test flights beyond the atmosphere, FAA spokesman Hank Price said.

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