Virgin Galactic has reached suborbital space for the first time

Virgin Galactic could soon reach space for the first time

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson, has successfully made it to space for the first time with VSS Unity, their SpaceShipTwo-class rocket-powered plane, during the craft's 4th test flight.

"Space is Virgin territory", Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic's founder, told the pilots after they landed the rocketship safely in California's Mojave Desert.

Branson, who plans to be on the first passenger trip aboard VSS Unity, has said he hoped Virgin Galactic's pilots would reach space before December 25.

The Mojave, Calif., launch was the fourth test flight of the SpaceShipTwo Unity, reports, which has photos. With two test pilots at the controls, the spacecraft quickly hurtled upward and out of sight from viewers on the ground. The plane returned to a normal flying configuration before gliding to land on the Mojave Air and Space Port runway.

Virgin Galactic, which is focused on space tourism, aims to use SpaceShipTwo to take paying customers for a short journey to and from space.

"Today, for the first time in history, a crewed spaceship, built to carry private passengers, reached space".

Mr Branson, was present at the take-off, along with hundreds of spectators in the California desert early this morning.

At 51.4 miles high, VSS Unity reached the technical definition of space, earning its pilots commercial astronaut wings by the US Federal Aviation Administration, although the usual worldwide standard is the 62-mile "Karman line". It reached a top speed of 2.9 times the speed of sound.

Virgin space tourist carrier
An artist’s impression of the Virgin SpaceShipTwo

The two pilots will attempt to launch the craft on a supersonic flight to the edge of space for the first time.

"Today we have shown Virgin Galactic can open space to the world", Branson said, adding he aimed for a commercial space flight with passengers - including himself - by March 2019.

SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Unity, hitched a ride on Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo aircraft before separating and taking off under its own power. It's high enough to reach the USA government's recognized definition of space, but not the 62-mile "Karman line" that is internationally recognized as the boundary.

Virgin Galactic officials said Thursday's spaceflight represents an incredible opportunity, not just for the company, but for the future in general.

Then, in 2014, SpaceShipTwo broke apart during a test flight by Scaled Composites when the co-pilot prematurely unlocked its unique "feathering" braking system and it began to deploy.

Sturckow, a former space shuttle pilot, will become the only person to be awarded astronaut wings from both NASA and the FAA. "Commercial space has great potential for American economic and innovative leadership", said FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell after the flight.

Branson envisions a fleet of Virgin's SpaceShipTwo craft like the VSS Unity operating so frequently that costs fall to the point where space travel is widely affordable.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Lakers Are Reportedly Discussing A Major NBA Trade
Dec 15, 2018 - 14:54
That came undone when there was confusion over whether the Suns would receive Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks from the Grizzlies . LeBron only had himself to blame as the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets last night, according to Skip Bayless.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Court rules Obamacare is unconstitutional
Dec 15, 2018 - 10:54
The White House said late Friday that it expects the ruling to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general, vowed to appeal the decision in the U.S.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mauricio on potential opponents in Champions League
Dec 14, 2018 - 13:02
The moment a blind Liverpool fan celebrates Mo Salah's victor against Napoli in the Champions League and his cousin next to him describes what happened.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Valencia vs. Manchester United - Football Match Report
Dec 14, 2018 - 12:59
Valencia secured a place in the last 32 of the Europa League by finishing third in the group - and it was mainly thanks to Jones. Pogba failed to shine once again, while Eric Bailly and Andreas Pereira also struggled to make an impact.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cosmonauts to examine mystery hole on ISS spacewalk
Dec 14, 2018 - 12:56
Rogozin added that Roscosmos would discuss the findings from the investigation with NASA and other space station partners. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in September that the hole could have been drilled during manufacturing or in space.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Stayed at Marriott worldwide? China's Ministry of State Security has your profile
Dec 14, 2018 - 10:45
China has reportedly been trying to build a database containing United States government officials' personal information. The recent arrest of Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou , in Canada is complicating the story further.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Nancy Pelosi Backs House Leadership Limits, All But Securing Bid For Speaker
Dec 13, 2018 - 23:03
US President Donald Trump and US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer exchange words during a tense meeting in the Oval office. Schumer said. "You don't have the votes", Pelosi said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Malcolm Jenkins of Philadelphia Eagles rips replay officials -- 'Stay off the bottle'
Dec 13, 2018 - 22:54
Jenkins's teammate Kamu Grugier-Hill appeared to recover from the fumble when he emerged from a pile of bodies with the ball. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson challenged the call, and referee Clete Blakeman said the review showed that Jordan fumbled.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top OPEC and Russian Federation agreed to output cut, despite United States pressure
Dec 13, 2018 - 22:53
Although Qatar is OPEC's smallest Middle East oil producer, it's now the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter. The oil price has fallen by a third since the start of October, when it hit a four-year high above $87.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Geminid Showers Promise A Stellar Show This Week
Dec 13, 2018 - 22:15
The shower is associated with 3200 Phaethon , an asteroid that is believed to have collided with another object many years ago. The ideal time to train your eyes skyward would be past midnight tonight i.e. 12 am and until 2 am on Friday night.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Governor Walker: What Will Your Message To Gov.-Elect Evers Be?
Dec 11, 2018 - 03:45
Scott Walker is weighing whether to sign a sweeping package of bills that would weaken the powers of his Democratic successor. In a tweet Wednesday, Vos accused Democrats of "exaggerating and resorting to hyperbole throughout the debate".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Meghan Markle's surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards
Dec 11, 2018 - 03:45
Keller was similarly full of praise for the new royal , saying: "I got to know Meghan on such a personal level". Her hair was swept away from her face in a tight bun, and that pregnancy glow was obvious for the world to see.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Roger the kangaroo: Enormous roo dies aged 12
Dec 11, 2018 - 03:44
A couple of years ago, the sanctuary published another video on Facebook of Roger sprawled on his back in the dirt. Sanctuary manager Chris "Brolga" Barnes announced Roger's death on Facebook on Saturday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Our own Emily Atack comes second in the jungle
Dec 11, 2018 - 03:44
Redknapp's trial involved him lying down in an underground chamber while creepy crawlies and rats ran all over him. Dec was later praised for his solo presenting duties with the help of Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Uber files for $76 bln initial public offering
Dec 11, 2018 - 03:15
Founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick, Uber has raised nearly $20 billion from investors such as Japan's SoftBank and Toyota. Revenue grew 38% to $2.95 billion in the latest quarter, slower than the second-quarter year-over-year jump of 63%.