Virgin Galactic continues to test its SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave desert in preparation for flights from New Mexico’s Spaceport America, which are likely to happen later this year. On Friday, the company completed its third rocket-powered supersonic flight of the ship over the Mojave. All of Virgin’s test objectives were successfully completed, the company said in a news release Friday.
The flight began with the WhiteKnightTwo carrier ship lifting the spaceship to 46,000 feet, where it was released and flew to a planned altitude of 71,000 feet, its highest to date.
Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson said: “I couldn’t be happier to start the New Year with all the pieces visibly in place for the start of full space flights. 2014 will be the year when we will finally put our beautiful spaceship in her natural environment of space. Today, we had our own chief pilot flying another flawless supersonic flight and proving the various systems required to take us safely to space, as well as providing the very best experience while we’re up there.”
For the complete story by Dan Mayfield of Albuquerque (N.M.) Business First, click here.