The Tech Herald

Virgin completes solo test flight of VSS Enterprise

by Steven Mostyn - Oct 11 2010, 12:06

The VSS Enterprise slung between the twin-fuselage WhiteKnightTwo. Image: Virgin Galactic.

Taking yet another step towards achieving commercial space travel, Virgin has successfully completed a test flight of its VSS Enterprise (a.k.a. SpaceShipTwo) high above California's Mojave Desert on Sunday.

Carried to an altitude of 45,000 feet by its accompanying WhiteKnightTwo mothership (a.k.a the Eve), the two pilots aboard VSS Enterprise then separated the revolutionary craft and flew for a total of 11 minutes before landing safely at the nearby Mojave Air and Space Port.

“It flew beautifully,” enthused George Whitesides, chief executive officer of Virgin Galactic after SpaceShipTwo had completed its historic flight test – the very first time it has flown without WhiteKnightTwo.

Once SpaceShipTwo is officially ready to begin ferrying (up to) six fare-paying passengers, it will use its own rocket engine to climb into space after being released from the mothership at 60,000 feet. According to Whitesides, more rigorous testing is yet to be completed before that can happen.

“The sky is no longer the limit, and we will begin the process of pushing beyond to the final frontier of space itself over the next year,” said Virgin boss Richard Branson in an official statement. “This is one of the most exciting days in the history of Virgin.”

Seats aboard SpaceShipTwo are expected to cost $200,000 USD, which is a lofty price that hasn't deterred the 370 affluent customers who've already stumped up deposits totalling more than $50 million USD.

Around the Web

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus

From Autosaur.com

Asian Market Gets McLaren 625C

Sportscar maker McLaren have announced they will release a special model just for the Asian ...

Mercedes-AMG C63 Pictures

We have added some great pictures of the new Mercedes-AMG C63. With a 4.0 liter engine ...

Mercedes-AMG C63 Details

Mercedes have released details of their new Mercedes-AMG C63. This top end of the C-Class li...

Volkswagen Beetle Classic Model Prices

Volkswagen has announced prices for the new limited edition Beetle Classic model. The new Cl...

Chevy Colorado And GMC Canyon Ship To Dealers

General Motors have started shipping their new 2015 Chevy Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon to de...