Virgin Galactic Surges as FAA Allows Space Flights to Resume
(Bloomberg) -- Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. shares jumped on news that the company can resume flights to the brink of space after changing its policies for communicating with regulators.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it had concluded its investigation into the space-travel pioneer’s failure to inform the agency of an errant trajectory in a July 11 launch. The FAA had grounded Virgin on Sept. 2 while it conducted a review following its capsule’s deviation from the approved flight path.
“The FAA required Virgin Galactic to implement changes on how it communicates to the FAA during flight operations to keep the public safe,” the agency said in an emailed statement Wednesday evening. “Virgin Galactic has made the required changes and can return to flight operations.”
Virgin Galactic surged 8.6% to $24.49 before the start of regular trading Thursday in New York. The stock had dropped 4.9% this year through Wednesday while the Russell 1000 Index climbed 15%.
Michael Colglazier, chief executive officer of Virgin, said in a press release the changes would strengthen safety at the company. “Our entire approach to spaceflight is guided by a fundamental commitment to safety at every level, including our spaceflight system and our test flight program,” Colglazier said.
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