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Virgin Galactic passes second test flight

Posted on Saturday, 7 September, 2013 | Comment icon 12 comments

WhiteKnight Two and SpaceShip Two. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Jeff Foust
Space tourim is inching ever closer as Virgin Galactic conducts a second successful test flight.
The flight saw SpaceShip Two breaking the sound barrier in a supersonic test flight in which it climbed to a height of 69,000 feet above the Earth. The achievement means that the pioneering aircraft is now the highest flying commercial vehicle in history.

"We couldn’t be more delighted to have another major supersonic milestone under our belts as we move toward a 2014 start of commercial service," said Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson. "Congratulations to all involved!"

The flight is a two stage process that also involves WhiteKnight Two, a second aircraft that carries SpaceShip Two to an altitude of 46,000ft before its rocket motors ignite.

"It was particularly thrilling to see for the first time today the whole elegant system in action during a single flight, including the remarkable feathering re-entry system," said Branson. "It was this safety feature more than anything else that originally persuaded us that the overall design of the system was uniquely fit for purpose."

Source: Fox News | Comments (12)

Tags: Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, Space Tourism

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by brlesq1 on 7 September, 2013, 11:11
Inches closer and closer. I would love to take a ride.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Parsec on 7 September, 2013, 14:29
Virgin Galactic's Second Rocket Powered Flight Tail FootageFootage from the tail camera onboard SpaceShipTwo during Virgin Galactic's Second Rocket Powered Test Flight.Source: Virgin Galactic - YouTube Channel Wow, amazing! It's interesting to see the smoke trail visible on the right of the video, left by the SpaceShipTwo: you can see from where it bursted till where it arrived at the top point, and then redescended
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 7 September, 2013, 17:43
Sweet! Does it "gilde" to a landing, or is it a "power-assisted" landing? Sorry, haven't kept up with the articles to know.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Kaa-Tzik on 7 September, 2013, 17:55
Sweet! Does it "gilde" to a landing, or is it a "power-assisted" landing? Sorry, haven't kept up with the articles to know. After an initial burst from it's engine it glides all the way down. I envy our grand children and great grand children who will see this as a primitive curiosity, I hope...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Hatake Kakashi on 7 September, 2013, 22:24
After an initial burst from it's engine it glides all the way down. I envy our grand children and great grand children who will see this as a primitive curiosity, I hope... Key word: Hope. This was really neat to watch.. Definitely sharing.
Comment icon #8 Posted by highdesert50 on 8 September, 2013, 0:52
WhiteKnight is quite impressive too; carrying Spaceship Two to a height above that of commercial airliners is no trivial endeavor.
Comment icon #9 Posted by skookum on 8 September, 2013, 8:47
Glad he is continuing with this project. I feared it would get mothballed like the Virgin Oceanic.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 8 September, 2013, 22:19
"I can't wait to get up there!" Virgin Galactic's Second Rocket Powered Test FlightSir Richard Branson's thoughts on SpaceShipTwo's second rocket powered test flight. Telescope footage by and Clay Center Observatory.Source: Virgin Galactic - YouTube Channel
Comment icon #11 Posted by dragon15066 on 17 September, 2013, 23:56
I wonder if people will have to sign a paper stating that they (passengers) will not talk about what they see. There are a lot of huge craft out there.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DONTEATUS on 18 September, 2013, 1:17
Reach I say,Make it So the Good Capt, has said ! Bravo Sir Branson !

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