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US grounds Virgin Galactic after space flight ‘mishap’

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Washington (AFP) – The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday said it was grounding space flights by Virgin Galactic while it investigates why the company’s July mission carrying Richard Branson deviated from its planned trajectory. The move represents a blow to the space tourism firm as it prepares to carry paying customers following its first fully-crewed test flight. It is unclear whether the next test flight, involving members of the Italian Air Force, will take place as scheduled in late September or early October. “The FAA is overseeing the Virgin Galactic investigation of …

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