50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Virgin Galactic spaceship makes successful first glide flight

Download: Printable PDF Date: 04 Dec 2016 13:19 categories:
Publisher:
Virgin Galactic spaceship makes successful first glide flight - Events / Festivals publisher
Krista Kuznecova
Country: United Arab Emirates Aircraft: Spaceplanes
Source: The National

Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship has made a successful first glide flight, a key step after a deadly crash of its predecessor two years ago, the spaceflight company, in which Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments has a 37.8 per cent stake, said on Saturday.

The new SpaceShipTwo, dubbed VSS Unity, was hoisted aloft by carrier airplane WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve from the Mojave Air & Space Port in California, the company said on Twitter.

Released from the mothership, VSS Unity flew home to Earth on its own, according to the company owned by British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.

"VSS Unity has landed. Vehicle and crew are back safe and sound after a successful first glide test flight," Virgin Galactic tweeted at #SpaceShipTwo.

Unity’s weight was kept light for the first flight, Virgin Galactic said. Its success now opens a phase of tougher flight testing before the spacecraft’s hybrid rocket motor will be fired in flight.

The company’s efforts faced a major setback in October 2014, when the first version of the SpaceShipTwo disintegrated over California’s Mojave Desert.

Although the pilot was injured, he successfully deployed his parachute. The co-pilot died.

Investigators blamed premature brake deployment during the test flight.

Virgin Galactic Spaceship Makes First Glide Flight

The company stressed that commercial space flights would not take place until it is satisfied it can carry them out safely.

SpaceShipTwo is a commercial version of SpaceShipOne, the first private spacecraft to reach the edge of space in 2004.

The company’s goal is to take tourists to the edge of space, more than 62 miles above Earth.

The new craft may someday carry six passengers on three-hour suborbital flights, offering them the possibility of momentary weightlessness and unparalleled views of Earth.

Despite the hefty $250,000 price tag, more than 600 would-be astronauts have already signed up, including Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher.

Virgin Galactic unveiled the new spaceship at the Mojave site in February. It looks largely the same as its predecessor.



Loading comments for Virgin Galactic spaceship makes successful first glide flight...


Recommended

GE Aviation's H85-200 engine certified for L 410 NG

GE Aviation has received EASA type certification for its H85-200 engine on Aircraft Industries' L 410 NG commuter aircraft. The H85-200 turboprop engine, rated at 850 SHP, features an advanced...

MOMook to make 43 Air School training operations more efficient

MOMook, an intelligent business and training management software developer, and 43 Air School, the largest aviation training provider in South Africa, signed a contract on the use of MOMook software f...

Embraer Announces Delivery of the First E190-E2 in April of 2018

Embraer confirmed today April of 2018 as the delivery date of the first E190-E2 to Widerøe, the aircraft’s launch operator. The announcement was made at a press briefing in Athens, Greece...

airBaltic Carries 500 000 Passengers on Bombardier CS300

The Latvian airline airBaltic has carried over 500 000 passengers on the brand new CS300 aircraft and now every fourth passenger of airBaltic is flying CS300. In total airBaltic has flown to 40 destin...