• Joe Breitfeller

Virgin Galactic Receives Full FAA Commercial Launch License Following Successful Test Flight

Following a successful test flight in May, Virgin Galactic has secured a full Commercial Launch License from the FAA. The upgraded license allows Virgin Galactic to carry space flight participants.


Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity - Courtesy Virgin Galactic

On Friday (June 25, 2021), Virgin Galactic announced that they have received a full Commercial Launch License from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), following a successful test flight in May. The company’s Commercial Space Transportation License allows Virgin Galactic to carry space flight participants. Additionally, the company announced the completion of an extensive data review from the May 22, 2021 test flight and confirmed that the flight performed well against all flight objectives. The expansion of Virgin Galactic’s license, which has been held since 2016, marks the first time the FAA has licensed a spaceline to fly customers.


In Friday’s announcement, Virgin Galactic’s Chief Executive Officer, Michal Colglazier, said,


“We’re incredibly pleased with the results of our most recent test flight, which achieved our stated flight test objectives. The flight performed flawlessly, and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system. 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.”


The May 22nd test flight of VMS Eve and VSS Unity was the company’s third crewed spaceflight and the first spaceflight form Spaceport America in New Mexico. The flight achieved a speed of Mach 3 and reached space at an altitude of 55.5 miles. The flight also carried three revenue-generating microgravity experiments as part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program.



Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) is a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, pioneering spaceflight for researches and individuals, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles. The company is developing a spaceflight system designed to offer customers a unique and transformative experience.



Source: Virgin Galactic