Virgin Galactic has been working hard on its private space plane that will eventually ferry passengers into low earth orbit where they can experience weightlessness. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two went through a test in September of last year where it reached a speed of mach 1.43. More recently, SpaceShip Two completed a third test flight.
That third test flight was conducted to test out new thrusters that will be used to control the spacecraft when it is outside the atmosphere. Recently Virgin Galactic announced that Chinese tourists would be banned from hitching a ride on the space plane.
The reason that Chinese tourists have been banned from taking flights on SpaceShip Two is because of fear that rocket technology might get stolen. There were apparently Chinese people that were interested in taking the $250,000 flight. Those tourists from China have been told they can’t take the flight due to anti-espionage regulations in the US.
Spaceship Two has a rocket engine that is considered potential military technology. The US International Traffic in Arms Regulations prevents any people from China, Iran, and North Korea from having access to weapons technology. No people with a Chinese passport will be allowed to board the spacecraft.