A team of pilots, ground crew and mission control specialists with Virgin Galactic is busy at Spaceport America, running a series of ground and air exercises in preparation for future commercial flights.

The focus is on WhiteKnightTwo, the aircraft that will one day help carry the company’s rocket ship and paying tourists to the edge of space.

Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides was standing on the tarmac Wednesday watching as WhiteKnightTwo landed. He says there will be a series of touch-and-go’s and landings at the spaceport as part of this week’s exercises.

Whitesides says the team of about 20 was happy to be working in New Mexico.

A full mission simulation is planned for WhiteKnightTwo on Thursday as ground testing on the company’s rocket ship continues in California.

This article was written by Susan Montoya Bryan from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: A Range Rover helps transport the new Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo at its global reveal and naming ceremony in February 2016. Land Rover MENA / Flickr