Virgin Galactic has a new partnership with the Italian aerospace industry and plans to launch projects in the Grottaglie spaceport in Italy.
Source: The Verge – Today, US space tourism venture Virgin Galactic announced a new partnership with two of Italy’s biggest aerospace companies to someday launch people into space from the European country. The plan is to eventually conduct flights of Virgin Galactic’s passenger spaceplane from Italy’s future Grottaglie Spaceport, which will be located at an airport on the heel of the country’s famous boot. If this all pans out, Virgin Galactic could be the first group to launch someone into space from Italy — or any other European territory. Virgin Galactic’s new partners include Altec, a company owned by the Italian Space Agency, and Sitael, Italy’s largest private space company. The two partners are supposed to work with Virgin Galactic to come up with a framework for how spaceflights will be conducted from the Grottaglie Spaceport. The three companies did not provide a timeline for when these flights would occur. The American company says the goal is to build an entirely new spaceplane that will remain at the Grottaglie Spaceport indefinitely. Sitael and others in the Italian aerospace industry will contribute their own technology to the vehicle. And the plane will be available to customers in the region, such as the Italian Space Agency or any private citizens who want to pay to go to space. It could also be used as a platform to do science experiments in a high-altitude gravity-less environment
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