Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) has introduced legislation that would authorize experimental aircraft such as WhiteKnightTwo to carry spaceflight participants and crew for training and research purposes.
The measure, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), would enable Virgin Galactic and other operators to avoid the time consuming and expensive process of having their aircraft undergo FAA certification.
WhiteKnightTwo is the carrier aircraft for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital space plane. The company wants to use the vehicle to train spaceflight participants and to conduct microgravity research.
In addition to WhiteKnightTwo, H.R.2571 could open the door for passengers to train aboard retired military jet fighters.
The legislation has been on the wish list of Virgin Galactic and the commercial spaceflight industry for a number of years.