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Virgin Galactic Has Entered The Final Stage Of Space Vehicle Testing..!

Virgin Galactic has entered the final stage of space vehicle testing, prior to commercial service, after the Spaceship Two has its successful flight test:

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo takes one giant leap towards space tourism – TechRadar UK

Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s aabar InvestmentsPJS, completed the first rocket-powered flight of its space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo (SS2). The test, conducted by teams from Scaled Composites (Scaled) and Virgin Galactic, officially marks Virgin Galactic’s entrance into the final phase of vehicle testing prior to commercial service from Spaceport America in New Mexico. “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, who was on the ground in Mojave to witness the occasion. “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.” The test began at 7.02am local time when SS2 took off from Mojave Air and Space Port mated to WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), Virgin Galactic’s carrier aircraft. Piloting SS2 were Mark Stucky, pilot, and Mike Alsbury, co-pilot, who are test pilots for Scaled, which built SS2 for Virgin Galactic. At the WK2 controls were Virgin Galactic’s Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, assisted by Clint Nichols and Brian Maisler, co-pilot and flight test engineer, respectively, for Scaled.

Virgin Galactic 1 SS2

The SS2 is scheduled to have a full space flight at the end of 2013, by opening the way to space tourism:

Virgin Galactic tourist spaceship breaks sound barrier – Yahoo!7 News

The rocket burned, as planned, for 16 seconds — enough to propel the spacecraft to 55,000 feet at 1.2 times the speed of sound, the statement said. ”For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight,” said Branson, who observed from the ground. He predicted the successful test would pave the way to “full space flight by the year’s end.” Next time, the company plans to keep the rocket going longer, to bring SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of more than 328,000 feet (100 kilometers), on the edge of space. During the rocket-powered flight, pilots Mark Stucky and Mike Alsbury commanded the SS2, which, after just 10 minutes, landed safely on the runway of the Mohave Air and Space Port, shortly after 8:00 am local time (1500 GMT) in April 29. More than 500 people have already reserved seats — and paid a deposit on the $200,000 ticket price — for a minutes-long suborbital flight on SS2. Branson has also said that he’ll bring his family on one of the flights to show his confidence in the safety of the spacecraft. SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers.

The flight proved the systems’ operational capabilities, as they fully integrated for conducting space tourism flights:

Virgin Galactic fires up rockets in key test flight – Albuquerque Business First

The test, conducted by teams from Virgin and Scaled Composites at the companies’ test center in Mojave, Calif., is a crucial step in the journey to launch the spaceship from New Mexico’s Spaceport America. Virgin officials said Monday ( April 29) they expect to achieve full space flight by the end of 2013. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, who was on the ground in Mojave, said in a news release, “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.” Virgin plans to use the craft to carry commercial passengers into near Earth orbit.

Finally, Richard Branson is moving forward for adding a new important dimension to space tourism as SpaceShipTwo is successfully tested the operational capabilities of Virgin Galactic



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