Quantcast
Transport Airlines

Virgin Galactic Takes Second Supersonic Test Flight

Sep 07, 2013 3:20 am

Skift Take

This — namely commercial flights for tourists in suborbital space — is actually going to happen in the next couple of years. One small step for man, and one giant leap for Richard Branson, and competitors.

— Dennis Schaal

Free Report: The Megatrends Defining Travel in 2015

Come Attend the Best Conference in Travel

Mark Greenberg  / Associated Press

This was the first test on April 29, 2013. At that time, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo fires its rockets over Mojave, Calif. after it was dropped from its "mothership," WhiteKnightTwo. Mark Greenberg / Associated Press


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.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tags: , ,

Next Up

More on Skift

Skift Business Traveler: Expansion at Heathrow Draws to a Head
The City Using Its Tourism Board to Lure Young Professionals to Relocate
8 Charts That Show the State of International Car Rentals in the U.S.
Who is the Modern-Day Business Traveler?