SpaceShipTwo makes second supersonic test flight

Sep 06, 2013
SpaceShipTwo.

Virgin Galactic says it successfully conducted a second rocket-powered, supersonic test flight of the passenger spaceship it is developing.

The craft called SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 69,000 feet (21,030 meters) over California early Thursday after it was dropped from a carrier aircraft and its rocket was ignited for a 20-second burn.

Two pilots and a flight test engineer were aboard as the craft reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.43, then glided to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port.

Both the altitude and speed exceeded marks set during the first rocket-powered flight last April.

Virgin Galactic plans to take paying passengers on suborbital flights that briefly enter space. The commercial spaceline is owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's aabar Investments PJS.

Explore further: Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

11 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

12 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

Apr 17, 2015

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ScottyB
not rated yet Sep 09, 2013
Good to see things progressing!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.