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USA: Virgin Galactic over the moon with successful SpaceShipTwo test00:35

USA: Virgin Galactic over the moon with successful SpaceShipTwo test

United States, Mojave Spaceport
September 9, 2013 at 10:05 GMT +00:00 · Published

USA: Virgin Galactic over the moon with successful SpaceShipTwo test

Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space airline owned by Sir Richard Branson, announced the second successful test of their reusable space vehicle, the SpaceShipTwo, on Friday. The ship, intended to eventually carry paying passengers out of the Earth's atmosphere, achieved an altitude of 69,000 feet at a maximum velocity of Mach 1.43, demonstrating the safety and power of its rocket engines.

The flight was intended to demonstrate the working of the craft's 'feathered' re-entry system, in which the ship changes the shape of its wings to increase drag and slow for landing. In exo-atmospheric operation, the craft will glide to a landing at Virgin's Mojave spaceport, allowing passengers to disembark comfortably.

Built by aerospace engineering firm Scaled Composites, the SpaceShipTwo is designed to be carried on a conventional jet launching aircraft known as WhiteKnightTwo, before detaching at around 50,000 feet to commence a hypersonic rocket burn up to around 110km, the craft's flight ceiling.

USA: Virgin Galactic over the moon with successful SpaceShipTwo test00:35
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USA: Virgin Galactic over the moon with successful SpaceShipTwo test

Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space airline owned by Sir Richard Branson, announced the second successful test of their reusable space vehicle, the SpaceShipTwo, on Friday. The ship, intended to eventually carry paying passengers out of the Earth's atmosphere, achieved an altitude of 69,000 feet at a maximum velocity of Mach 1.43, demonstrating the safety and power of its rocket engines.

The flight was intended to demonstrate the working of the craft's 'feathered' re-entry system, in which the ship changes the shape of its wings to increase drag and slow for landing. In exo-atmospheric operation, the craft will glide to a landing at Virgin's Mojave spaceport, allowing passengers to disembark comfortably.

Built by aerospace engineering firm Scaled Composites, the SpaceShipTwo is designed to be carried on a conventional jet launching aircraft known as WhiteKnightTwo, before detaching at around 50,000 feet to commence a hypersonic rocket burn up to around 110km, the craft's flight ceiling.