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Virgin Galactic crash may trigger more spaceflight regulation
Virgin Galactic crash may trigger more spaceflight regulation

The fatal Virgin Galactic crash may trigger the first federal regulation of an industry that has so far operated with almost no oversight on the assumption that space travelers know the risks, similar to mountain climbers. Congress has prohibited the U.S. government from imposing safety regulations over most aspects of commercial space exploration, even barring protections for passengers on the kind of for-pay flights that billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic envisions. All that changed when the company's SpaceShipTwo broke into pieces on an Oct. 31 test flight. The law says the Federal Aviation Administration may issue rules if a launch "resulted in a serious...

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