U.S. Government Gives Virgin Galactic Permission To Start Planning Space Flights

Strap on your jetpacks and shine up your moon boots, because we’re going to space, y’all. Maybe not this minute or even this year, but if you can dream it, you can achieve it. At least if you’re super rich Sir Richard Branson and the U.S. government just told you you can start planning space flights.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic has been revvings its engines to take to the stars (or at least the Earth’s orbit) and now it’s got official clearance to start mapping those flights out, reports CNNMoney.

The company has said in the past that it’d like to send the first commercial flights up by the end of this year, with Branson and his family traveling on the initial voyage on SpaceShipTwo.

Flights will take off from New Mexico’s Spaceport, which was built solely for the purpose of sending off commercial space flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also on board, as it were, and will figure out particulars with local air traffic control to make sure those flights aren’t interfering with any others in the airspace.

It’ll be a bustling business for Virgin, as the company says it’s already received more than $70 million in deposits for spots from around 580 people.