Virgin Galactic Conducts First Rocket-Powered Test Flight of SpaceShipTwo
April 29, 2013 8:24 PM
comment(s) - last by
The test broke the speed of sound
Virgin Galactic successfully completed the first rocket-powered
of its space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo (SS2) -- which means it's now in the final phase of vehicle testing.
The test was conducted by Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California. The test began at 7:02 a.m. PST when SS2 took off while connected to WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), Virgin Galactic’s carrier aircraft.
Around 45 minutes later, SS2 reached an altitude of 47,000 feet and disconnected from WK2. Pilots then triggered the rocket motor, which opened the main oxididizer valve and fired igniters within the fuel case.
SS2 propelled forward to 55,000 feet, with the engine burn lasting a total of 16 seconds. During that time, SS2 went supersonic -- reaching Mach 1.2.
SS2 landed around 8 a.m. PST.
“The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date,” said Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson. “For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today’s supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship’s powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year’s end. We saw history in the making today and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.”
Branson was present for today's test, but stayed on the ground to observe.
Virgin Galactic now plans to conduct a full space flight before the end of 2013 with more testing on the way. It plans to offer a commercial service from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Earlier this month, SS2 completed
another successful test flight
where it glided with oxidizer flowing through its engine.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Very neat, but a novelty.
4/30/2013 11:45:23 AM
It's a vehicle designed for space tourism, and tourism is generally based around "attractions" or novelties.
--This IS advancing the state of the art.
--There aren't currently any other reusable space vehicles.
--The design is unique and unlike previous reusable space vehicles in several ways.
--The ticket price is LOW compared to pretty much any other way of getting to the altitude this is designed for.
Truly, if some rich people want to blow their money on a novelty that finances improvements in rocket/space tech... I'm fine with that!
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two Rocket Plane Completes Successful Test Flight
April 15, 2013, 9:48 AM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Samsung Calls Out “Copycat” Apple for 5.5” iPhone 6 Plus in New Ads
September 14, 2014, 11:06 PM
Confirmed: Next Generation of Windows to Be Announced on September 30
September 15, 2014, 4:43 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information