Space & Astronomy
Virgin Galactic craft to go supersonic ?
By T.K. Randall
April 28, 2013 · 24 comments
Image Credit: Virgin Galactic
SpaceShipTwo will be conducting its first rocket-powered test flight tomorrow says Richard Branson.
The six-passenger suborbital ship is designed to ignite its rocket engine in flight after being dropped by a larger aircraft called White Knight Two. The ship will then climb to a height far beyond Earth's atmosphere to give tourists a brief glimpse of what it's like to fly in space. Virgin Galactic are offering seats for $200,000 each and so far more than 500 people have signed up.
"We’re hoping to break the sound barrier. That’s planned Monday. It will be a historic day," said Branson in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. If things continue to go well then sub-orbital flights aboard SpaceShip Two could officially begin early next year.
The spaceship is modeled after a prototype, called SpaceShipOne, that won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004 for being the first privately developed, piloted vehicle to reach suborbital space.
Source: Discovery News
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