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Virgin Galactic, NASA team up to develop high-speed air travel

The efforts will center on sustainability.

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic has a new partnership with NASA. 
Getty Images

Virgin Galactic on Tuesday shared a new partnership with NASA that aims to promote the development of high-speed, point-to-point technologies. The Space Act Agreement is designed to boost collaboration among NASA, Virgin Galactic and its subsidiary The Spaceship Company to support the US's efforts to "produce technically feasible, high Mach vehicles for potential civil applications," according to a release. 

Virgin Galactic says it hopes to develop a vehicle for safe and efficient high-speed air travel with its industry partners. The efforts will center on sustainability. 

"This is the beginning of an important partnership for Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company that will support the future development of aviation technology," Virgin Galactic Holdings CEO George Whitesides said in a statement.

"Virgin Galactic's unique experience and innovative technology platform will, in partnership with the historic capabilities of NASA and other government agencies, enable the progression of new technical steps that will improve US competitiveness," Whitesides said. "We see this as an area with tremendous growth potential that we will continue to invest in, alongside our commercial spaceflight operations."

James Kenyon, director of the NASA Aeronautics Advanced Air Vehicles Program, said the agreement will allow the organizations to apply new techniques and technologies from the last 50 years and "explore potential new solutions for the commercial aviation industry."