Richard Branson made headlines when he flew to the edge of space, but Virgin Galactic is now grounded over a flight path deviation.
Virgin Galactic’s ship veered off course during its return to earth, being outside the designated airspace for one minute and 41 seconds. According to The Seattle Times, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating, and Virgin Galactic is grounded while the investigation takes place.
“Virgin Galactic may not return the SpaceShipTwo vehicle to flight until the FAA approves the final mishap investigation report or determines the issues related to the mishap do not affect public safety,” the FAA said in a statement.
Despite the issue, the company says Branson and the other crew members were never in any danger, and that the ship’s pilots “responded appropriately” when high-altitude winds knocked the ship off course.
“At no time were passengers and crew put in any danger as a result of this change in trajectory,” said.