NASA, Virgin Galactic to help develop high-speed commercial aircraft

Published: 7 May 2020 - 7:56 p.m.

NASA and Virgin Galactic are partnering to develop new technologies that can be applied to high-speed vehicles for point-to-point commercial travel across the globe.

Virgin Galactic signed The Space Act Agreement with NASA to support the development of high-Mach vehicles for safe, efficient and environmentally responsible air travel.

“This is the beginning of an important partnership for Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company that will support the future development of aviation technology,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic Holdings.

“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 US competitiveness.”

Dr James Kenyon, director of the NASA Aeronautics Advanced Air Vehicles Program said: “This Space Act Agreement will enable NASA to collaborate with Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company to allow our organisations 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.”

Virgin Galactic made the announcement after recording a $60 million loss for the first quarter of the year narrowed from a $73 million net loss in fourth quarter of 2019.

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