To Infinity And Beyond

Forbes magazine reports that the U.S. federal government is about to take a not-so-small step forward in its giant leap to help tourists get to outer space.

Within the next few weeks, the Federal Aviation Administration will issue its regulations surrounding the “experimental permits” that private spacecraft owners will use to test their rockets.

The rules essentially tell developers what they need to do once they obtain a permit and are designed to expedite research on spacecraft. The regulations will apply specifically to reusable suborbital rockets, the kind that space adventure companies such as Virgin Galactic will use to send people for a thrill ride into outer space.

In addition to building upon the very young regulatory framework surrounding private space travel, the regulations will make it easier for companies to test their vehicles. Developers of private spacecraft can already obtain a license from the FAA to test their rockets, but the process for obtaining such a permit is lengthy and complicated.

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