Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo reaches record height in latest test

SpaceShipTwo

Space tourism company Virgin Galactic sent its SpaceShipTwo reusable space vehicle to new heights on Friday, blasting the craft nearly 13.5 miles into the air and reaching a speed of Mach 1.4.

The craft left Mojave Air and Space Port at approximately 7:22 a.m. PST strapped to the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, which took the slick plane to around 46,000 feet. At the controls were Virgin Galactic Pilot Mike Masucci and Scaled Test Pilot Mike Alsbury.

WhiteKnightTwo then dropped the plane, which used its own rocket motor to roar to 71,000 ft. — setting a new record for the craft.

“2014 will be the year when we will finally put our beautiful spaceship in her natural environment of space,” said Sir Richard Branson in a statement about the successful test flight. “Today, we had our own Chief Pilot flying another flawless supersonic flight and proving the various systems required to take us safely to space, as well as providing the very best experience while we’re up there.”

SS2’s propulsion system has been developed by Sierra Nevada Corp and is the world’s largest operational hybrid rocket motor. Although today’s flight saw it burn for a planned 20 seconds, the system has been successfully tested in ground firings to demonstrate performance characteristics and burn time sufficient to take the spaceship and its private astronauts to space.

This flight was the third supersonic, rocket-powered test of the Virgin Galactic system after dozens of subsonic flights.

“Today’s flight was another resounding success,” said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “With each flight test, we are progressively closer to our target of starting commercial service in 2014.”

In Fall 2014, Branson and his adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space on SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic’s terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

To date, the company has accepted more than $80 million in deposits from approximately 680 individuals for rides on the tourist vehicle to the edge of space.

By: FoxNews.com
To view the original article CLICK HERE

Related Posts: 
  • Atafu Atoll, Tokelau, in the Southern Pacific Ocean
  • And here's what the capsule looks like without all the flashing lights. It's kind of gumdrop-shaped:
  • Virgin Galactic on the Tarmac
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off.
  • Orion Exploration flight test one
  • Photo of the moon from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
  • Soyuz Liftoff
  • NASA's LADEE spacecraft was imaged above the surface of the Moon as seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
  • Spaceport Map
  • Photo by Mark Rademaker
    Faster than Light: Warp Drive - SpaceVision 2013
  • Viewing map
  • Dream Chaser
  • Spaceport America Company Locations
  • Microgravity Training
  • ISS
  • Spacewalking Astronaut
  • Mission Control
  • Waypoint2Space Zero Gravity Simulation Spaceflight Fundamentals
  • Viewing Map
  • Newton Engine
  • Spacewalking Astronaut
  • Launch Pad
  • Dream Chaser
  • Mars Landscape
  • Falcon 9 Liftoff
  • LADEE
  • F9R 1000m Fin Flight | Onboard Cam and Wide Shot
  • File picture of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a small science satellite for Canada is seen as it is launched from a newly refurbished launch pad in Vandenberg Air Force Station. CREDIT: REUTERS/GENE BLEVINS
  • Falcon 9 First Stage Reentry Footage from Plane
  • Leaked Star Wars Episode VII Filmset Footage!
  • Time Capsule to Mars Press Conference (excerpts)
  • Stock Xcor Photo
  • Dream Chaser New Concept of Operations
  • Astronaut Tim Peake
  • Richard Branson: I Want You to Be an Astronaut
  • First SpaceX capsule to deliver to the ISS
  • Falcon 9 First Stage Return | ORBCOMM Mission
  • Space Shuttle on Plane
  • Commercial Spaceflight Federation
  • Cygnus Launch
  • ISS Crossing the Orlando Skyline
  • FAA Logo
  • Ashton Kutcher
  • Sochi Olympic Torch in Space
  • NASA Commercial interests
    Highlights from Commercial Flights to the International Space Station
  • Commercial Space Program Success
  • Cape Canaveral
  • Free Floating NASA Astronaut
  • Virgin Galactic Celebration
  • Virgin Galactic Spaceship2
  • SpaceX Dragon launch
  • PayPal Galactic: Aiming For The Final Frontier
  • NASA Johnson Style (Gangnam Style Parody)
  • Olympic Soyz
  • Zero Gravity training
  • WhiteKnight and SpaceShipTwo taking off
  • SNC's Dream Chaser First Free-Flight Approach-and-Landing Test
  • Cygnus detaching from ISS
  • US astronaut Karen Nyberg tweeted this striking photo of storm clouds above Ghana as seen from the International Space Station.on October 8, 2013. Credit: Karen Nyberg/NASA
  • Boeing CTS-100 Capsule in orbit
  • EVA from the Movie "Gravity"
  • Cygnus on Launchpad
  • SpaceShipTwo
  • Maven
  • SpaceX rocket Waiting to launch
  • Chinese Launch
  • SES-8 Patch
  • Falcon 9 launch
  • Moon landing
  • X-37B
  • Let's Create History Together
  • $75K 'Edge Of Space' Balloon Ride Gets FAA Approval | Animation
  • Bigelow
  • Chinese-Brazilian Rocket
  • Venus
  • Rocket on pad
  • Mojave Desert
  • ISS
  • Maven Launch
  • Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set sights on space travel
  • Solar Flare
  • VASIMR Orbital Sweeper for Space Debris Removal
  • International Space Station
  • Object tracking Map
  • ISS
  • Mars probe flyby
  • Antarctica Lab
  • NASA Launch Pad

Categories

Monthly Archive