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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Virgin Galactic Granted License Exemption for Spaceflight Experience

•, By Dan Leone
 Virgin Galactic asked “that their operations be removed from the scope of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR),” Mark Sundahl, an associate professor of law at Cleveland State University in Ohio, told Space News in an April 10 phone interview. Early this year, the State Department announced “a favorable EAR99 ruling, which means that [Virgin Galactic’s] operations will not be ITAR-controlled.”

Virgin’s flight hardware, Sundahl added, would remain under export control. However, he said the determination was, on the whole, “good news for Virgin Galactic and the entire space tourism industry.”

Marc Holzapfel, Virgin Galactic’s New York-based senior vice president and legal director, did not reply to an April 10 request for comment.

When the State Department announced its decision in an online posting in January, Virgin Galactic did not publicize the decision. On an April 5 visit to Washington, Virgin Galactic Chief Executive Officer George Whitesides — a former NASA chief of staff — declined to comment about the business ramifications of the decision. on the exporter,” Sundahl said.

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