KEY POINTS

  • Virgin Galactic entered a partnership with NASA
  • NASA and Virgin Galactic will develop high-speed passenger planes
  • The Spaceship Company also signed an agreement with NASA

Virgin Galactic officially announced that it had entered a partnership with NASA. The collaboration will focus on the development of supersonic air travel.

The private spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson announced its new venture after signing the Space Act Agreement with NASA. Under the new agreement, the company aims to develop civilian air transportation vehicles that are capable of flying at high Mach speeds.

In a statement released by the company, Virgin Galactic noted that the next-generation vehicles that will be developed under the Space Act Agreement would be used for public air travel. Unlike conventional passenger planes, NASA and Virgin are aiming to develop vehicles that are capable of traveling across the sky at high speeds.

“Together with its industry partners, Virgin Galactic is seeking to develop a vehicle for the next generation of safe and efficient high-speed air travel, with a focus on customer experience and environmental responsibility,” the company said in a statement.

George Whiteside, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, noted that the company’s partnership with NASA would boost the former’s aviation technology. Through the partnership Whiteside believes the U.S. will experience tremendous growth in the air travel industry.

In a recent tweet, Virgin Galactic noted that its new partnership with NASA would go a long away especially since it is the only company in the world that is able to launch a crewed flight at hypersonic speeds.

Aside from Virgin Galactic, NASA’s Space Act Agreement also includes a partnership with The Spaceship Company. Based in California, the company serves as Virgin Galactic’s aerospace-system manufacturing organization.

Through the innovations made by the two companies in the field of air travel, NASA is looking to develop new technologies that will boost the commercial aviation industry.

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