Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. can resume flights to the brink of space after making changes in company policies following its capsule’s deviation from the approved flight path in a July 11 launch.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday said it had concluded its investigation into the space-travel pioneer’s failure to inform the agency of the errant trajectory. The FAA had grounded Virgin on Sept. 2 while it conducted a review.
“The FAA required Virgin Galactic to implement changes on how it communicates to the FAA during flight operations to keep the public safe,” the agency said in an emailed statement. “Virgin Galactic has made the required changes and can return to flight operations.”
Virgin Galactic shares surged nearly 10 per cent on the FAA news after the close of New York trading.
Michael Colglazier, chief executive officer of Virgin, said in a press release the changes would strengthen safety at the company. “Our entire approach to spaceflight is guided by a fundamental commitment to safety at every level, including our spaceflight system and our test flight program,” Colglazier said.