SpaceShipTwo makes second supersonic test flight

September 6, 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: Virgin Galactic spaceship makes first powered flight (Update)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New space industry emerges: on-orbit servicing

November 17, 2018

Imagine an airport where thousands of planes, empty of fuel, are left abandoned on the tarmac. That is what has been happening for decades with satellites that circle the Earth.

SpaceX gets nod to put 12,000 satellites in orbit

November 16, 2018

SpaceX got the green light this week from US authorities to put a constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit in order to boost cheap, wireless internet access by the 2020s.

Electric blue thrusters propelling BepiColombo to Mercury

November 16, 2018

In mid-December, twin discs will begin glowing blue on the underside of a minibus-sized spacecraft in deep space. At that moment Europe and Japan's BepiColombo mission will have just come a crucial step closer to Mercury.

Overflowing crater lakes carved canyons across Mars

November 16, 2018

Today, most of the water on Mars is locked away in frozen ice caps. But billions of years ago it flowed freely across the surface, forming rushing rivers that emptied into craters, forming lakes and seas. New research led ...

1 comment

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.