04/05/2018 by priceytech with 0 comments

Virgin Galactic successfully tested its rocket-powered spacecraft today for the first time since 2014


Virgin Galactic took to the skies today for the first test of its rocket-powered spacecraft in over three years. The SpaceShipTwo launch platform deployed the USS Unity at a set altitude where the space craft will fire its engines for as long as 30 seconds bringing the craft to 1 1/2 the speed of sound. This was the first powered test of the Unity since the SpaceShipTwo Enterprise broke up during a test flight in late 2014.

After the accident Richard Branson’s space program reworked a lot of components but as of late ramped up testing including releasing the Unity for glide testing.

Today is 12th flight for VSS Unity #SpaceShipTwo, 246th for VMS Eve #WhiteKnightTwo pic.twitter.com/eVezAf9W3p

Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 5, 2018

For today’s test two pilots — Mark “Forger” Stucky and Dave Mackay — were at the controls of the VSS Unity as its dropped from its mothership. Unlike the original SpaceCraftTwo vehicle, the Unity is built by The Spaceship Company, a subsidiary of Virgin Group, which is also building two more spaceships for the space company.

Virgin Galactic has yet to announce target altitude or speed for this test. This is a big test for the company and it has been relatively quiet about its existence — a stark difference from Elon Musk’s SpaceX .

Virgin Galactic was founded and so far existed to provide a reusable platform to reach sub-orbital altitudes of about 68 miles above the Earth. It’s capable of carrying passengers who are expected to pay around $250,000 for the trip and today’s showed that the company is back on the track to be a viable space delivery system. It’s unlikely the company could have survived another fatal disaster.

VSS Unity is the first #SpaceShipTwo in a fleet of spaceships proudly built by @TheSpaceshipCompany pic.twitter.com/3b18jkK7IX

— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 5, 2018

      

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