Share
News

Virgin Galactic Is One Step Closer to Commercial Spaceflight

Share

Virgin Galactic on Thursday celebrated the second successful flight of its spaceship over Spaceport America in southern New Mexico.

Unlike the first glide test in early May, the pilots flew at high speeds to help evaluate the ship’s systems and performance in preparation for the next stage of testing. That will involve rocket-powered flights.

“Our focus for this year remains unchanged on ensuring the vehicles and our operations are prepared for long-term, regular commercial spaceflight service,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in a statement.

Trending:
One Crucial Official Was Nowhere to Be Seen as Biden Attends Tribute for 491 Fallen Officers

While the company is in the midst of final testing, officials have yet to determine a date for the start of commercial flights.

Officials said the data from the latest flight has to be analyzed. Other steps include making final modifications to the spaceship’s customer cabin and completing detailed inspections.

During Thursday’s flight, the spaceship reached a glide speed of Mach 0.85 — or 652 miles per hour — after being released from the carrier ship VMS Eve at an altitude of 51,000 feet.

The pilots conducted various tests and maneuvers before touching down on the runway.

Would you pay to be launched into space?

Virgin Galactic teams last weekend did a “wet” dress rehearsal in which they positioned the spaceship on the runway and loaded it with fuel.

Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant of the taxpayer-financed Spaceport America — the world’s first facility designed and built specifically for launching commercial passengers and payloads into suborbital space.

The company now has close to 180 people working out of the desert outpost.

More than 600 customers from around the world have purchased tickets to be launched into the lower fringes of space where they can experience weightlessness and get a view of Earth below.

The suborbital flights are designed to reach an altitude of at least 50 miles before gliding to a landing.

Related:
Big Tech Company Previously Under Fire for Privacy Concerns Reportedly Developing Body Sensory Technology

In addition to a few hundred people who have put down deposits for a ride with Virgin Galactic, more than 9,100 have registered their interest online.

Company officials expect the interest to surpass the company’s capacity for flights for a few years.


[jwplayer GHoqm6IL]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation