Virgin Galactic spaceship's space tourism now closer to reality

Saturday, 7 September 2013 - 12:11pm IST | Agency: ANI

A Virgin Galactic spaceship that was meant to take tourists for space travel blasted through the sound barrier during its latest supersonic test flight, on Thursday.

The spaceship soared to 69,000 feet above the planet and reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.43 before drifting back to Earth, Fox News reported.

The spaceship launched from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California is the 2nd rocket-powered test flight for Virgin Galactic, the commercial spaceline owned by Virgin billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

Virgin Galactic chief pilot Dave Mackay piloted the WhiteKnightTwo, which was essentially a flying tow truck that carried the SpaceShipTwo tourist craft to an altitude of 46,000 feet.

Pilots Mark Stucky and Clint Nichols, at that time, ignited the rocket motor in the spacecraft for a 20-second burn, which propelled it to a height of over 13 miles.


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