Virgin Galactic disputes New Yorker story on Branson spaceflight

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The US Federal Aviation Administration says it’s investigating how Sir Richard Branson’s recent space flight drifted off course during its climb skyward. The British billionaire fulfilled his life’s dream on 11 July by riding his Virgin Galactic rocket plane, Unity, above 85km (52 miles) in altitude. But the New Yorker magazine has revealed how the vehicle flew for a period outside its pre-agreed airspace. Unity landed safely and Virgin Galactic says it is cooperating with the FAA. Sir Richard’s company issued a statement in which it strongly disputed what it described as ‘misleading characterisations and conclusions’ in the New Yorker article. And Virgin Galactic said it would be pushing ahead with its flight programme. Thursday saw it announce details of its next mission, a research flight for the Italian Air Force.” (09/02/21)