SpaceShipTwo Made Its First Flight From Spaceport America
Virgin Galactic reported that it conducted another test flight of the SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle on Friday, the first time it passed from the territory of the Spaceport America in New Mexico, where it is planned to make its commercial launches in the future.
"This glide flight marks the inaugural solo flight of VSS Unity in New Mexico and as such is an important flight test milestone in preparation for commercial service," the company announced on its website.
It is noted that the device on its carrier plane WhiteKnightTwo rose to an altitude of 15 thousand meters, then separated from it, made an independent landing.
"This test flight was conducted under a set of stringent operational protocols to ensure safety against COVID-19. Its successful execution was made possible by a concerted effort to redesign all the operational elements required for safe flight test while meeting new health and wellness protocols."
Previously, all tests of SpaceShipTwo took place in California at the test site in the Mojave desert. In February, Virgin Galactic completed the transfer of all space launch-related facilities and employees to the state of New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic plans to carry out commercial flights of tourists to the border with space in the near future. Earlier it was reported that about 700 people have already applied for a space flight, many of them have made a full Deposit for the cost of the flight, which is 250 thousand dollars. The date of the first commercial flight has not yet been set, as it was previously reported that they may begin in 2020.
SpaceShipTwo, which is designed for six passengers and two pilots, rises into the air on the WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane, after undocking from it with its own engine, it enters a suborbital trajectory and reaches space, after which it makes a horizontal landing.