NASA joins forces with Virgin Galactic to support the future of space tourism. On 22 June the us space Agency has signed an agreement with the private company Virgin Galactic on the development of “training programme of the orbital tourists.”

Virgin Galactic — the company, part of the Virgin Group, is planning the development of the tourist suborbital flights and launches of small satellites. According to the latest data applications for “the tourist” has left 8,000 passengers. Spacecraft SpaceShipTwo is now undergoing flight tests. As of February 2020, the company had planned to start flights at the end of this year, but perhaps this date will be rescheduled.

In 2007 NASA and Virgin Galactic signed a Memorandum of understanding, this document talked about the fact that maybe one day they will be able to cooperate. And now the day has come! The partnership, signed this week, includes “the identification of candidates, interested private flights”. Also, the contract says about the training of tourist-astronaut transportation to the space station, as well as support and coordination of resource use the space station for future missions in the framework of this program.

“We are pleased to partner with NASA in this program orbital private space flights, which will not only allow us to use a space platform, but also offer our infrastructure space training NASA and other agencies,” said George whitesides, CEO Virgin Galactic.

Shares of the company Virgin Galactic rose 14% after it announced its collaboration with NASA. The Verge compared the company’s plans with Space Adventures — the company, which in 2005 signed a Memorandum with the Russian space Agency of intent for the selection of investors and space tourists. Also, the portal has indicated that Virgin Galactic would undertake mediation between NASA and SpaceX.