Virgin Galactic nudges closer to launch after successful re-entry test

Virgin Galactic nudges closer to launch after successful re-entry test

Virgin Galactic has completed its latest test flight, with the VSS Enterprise spaceship demonstrating its ‘feather’ re-entry configuration for the first time. The flight was completed on Wednesday in the skies about the Mojave Desert and lasted just over 11 minutes after a 45 minute climb attached to VMS Eve. VSS Enterprise has now flown solo seven times since its roll-out in December 2009, along with ground tests. “This morning’s spectacular flight by VSS Enterprise was its third in 12 days, reinforcing the fast turnaround and frequent flight-rate potential of Virgin Galactic’s new vehicles. We have also shown this morning that the unique feathering re-entry mechanism, probably the single most important safety innovation within the whole system, works perfectly,” said George Whitesides, CEO and president of Virgin Galactic after the test. “This is yet another important milestone successfully passed for Virgin Galactic, and brings us ever closer to the start of commercial operations.” Virgin Galactic has so far taken more than 400 bookings from wannabe space tourists. Ticket prices start from US$200,000.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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