Virgin Galactic completes first in-flight rocket test

Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline has completed the first rocket-powered flight of its space vehicle SpaceShipTwo (SS2).

The test, conducted by teams from Scaled Composites (Scaled) and Virgin Galactic, is said to mark Virgin Galactic’s entrance into the final phase of vehicle testing prior to commercial service from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

In a statement Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic said, ‘The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date.

‘For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today’s supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship’s powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year’s end.’

The test began at 7am local time when SS2 took off from Mojave Air and Space Port whilst connected to WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), Virgin Galactic’s carrier aircraft.

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April 30, 2013



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