Headlines > News > U.S. Okays Virgin Galactic Spaceship Plans

U.S. Okays Virgin Galactic Spaceship Plans

Published by Rob on Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:06 pm
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Leonard David, Senior Space Writer, 15 August 2005
A go-ahead was given last week by the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) that clears the way for exchanges of technical information between Scaled Composites of Mojave, California and Virgin Galactic of the United Kingdom to build passenger-carrying suborbital spaceliners.

Among its duties, DDTC administers and enforces International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

“Putting it in ITAR terms…this is one small step for ITAR, one big leap for Virgin Galactic,” said Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic—the space tourism endeavor that is a subsidiary of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

“It allows us to activate all the parts of the project,” Whitehorn told SPACE.com in an exclusive phone interview, such as use of technology—SpaceShipOne’s reentry concept and hybrid rocket motor design, for example—that can be licensed through Paul Allen’s Mojave Aerospace Ventures.

Allen, a Microsoft mogul and billionaire, bankrolled the development of the piloted SpaceShipOne—designed by Burt Rutan and his Scaled Composites team—that repeatedly flew to the edge of space last year—snagging the $10 million Ansari X Prize in the process.

Read the full article at space.com

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