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The head of Virgin Galactic has agreed to use the spaceport in Italy.
The company Virgin Galactic announced a partnership with Italian aerospace companies Sitael and Altec on the use of not yet built spaceport in Grottaglie.
If the project is successful, Virgin Galactic could be the first company to launch someone into space from Italy or any other country of the EU, writes the Internet-the edition with reference to .
It is assumed that both partners will work with Virgin Galactic to develop the infrastructure for conducting space flights from spaceport Grottola. However, three companies did not specify the time frame for these flights.
A future spaceport plans to rebuild airport of Grottaglie. It will only be used for launches with the carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo. Equip him starting tables for vertical launch missile is not planned.
Clients include Virgin Galactic will be both space tourists and the Italian aerospace Agency. In particular, the planned flights for scientific missions and launches of small satellites.
“From the Renaissance to the modern space era, Italy has always been the natural home to great innovators and breakthrough ideas that have shaped human experience,” said Virgin CEO Richard Branson in a statement.
At the moment, Virgin Galactic has only one active space plane, dubbed the VSS Unity, which is still being tested on the launch pad of the company in Mojave, California. Space plane designed to carry passengers into suborbital space, where they will experience several minutes of weightlessness before returning to Earth. To get to space, the vehicle is transferred to a high altitude large aircraft carrier WhiteKnightTwo.So far Virgin Galactic made two trips VSS Unity, as well as numerous test flights that the ship was ready to transport people. However, VSS Unity has not yet emerged into space. Despite this, the company has a long list of people who are waiting for their flight into orbit, and hundreds of customers had paid deposits of $250 000 per ticket. Virgin Galactic does not mention the date of the first passenger flights, but the company’s CEO Richard Branson said that he can fly on a space plane this year.