SpaceShipTwo Fires Rocket
Virgin Galactic's passenger-carrying suborbital space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo successfully passed aerodynamic and powerplant tests on June 26, near Mojave, California. The vehicle performed its first successful glide since integration of its rocket motor systems. WhiteKnightTwo carried it to 51,000 feet over where it was released under the control of Scaled pilots Pete Siebold and Mike Alsbury. A chase plane carried Mike Melvill who piloted the first private flight to space in SpaceShipOne. A second test fired the RM2 rocket system for a 55-second burn. According to Virgin Galactic, "all objectives were completed." Virgin Galactic plans to collect customers and VIPs for a special briefing, next month, and powered flight not too long thereafter.
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