Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity Space Plane Aces Test Flight, Reaching Mesosphere For First Time

Space.com | 7/26/2018 | Staff
donuzumaki (Posted by) Level 3
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Virgin Galactic's newest space plane took to the skies again today (July 26) for its third rocket-powered test flight, reaching higher in the atmosphere than the company has previously.

The VSS Unity is a SpaceShipTwo vehicle designed to carry six commercial passengers and two pilots into space, where they will experience 5 minutes of weightlessness before gliding back down to Earth.

Thrill - Start - Craft - Pilot - Dave

"It was a thrill from start to finish," the craft's chief pilot, Dave Mackay, said in a statement. "Unity's rocket motor performed magnificently again and Sooch [co-pilot Mike Masucci] pulled off a smooth landing. This was a new altitude record for both of us in the cockpit, not to mention our mannequin in the back, and the views of Earth from the black sky were magnificent."

Virgin Galactic's suborbital space plane, the VSS Unity, completed its 14th test flight on July 26, 2018.

VSS - Unity - Board - WhiteKnightTwo - VMS

With VSS Unity on board, WhiteKnightTwo (also known as VMS Eve) took off at approximately 11:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT). "There she goes! #VMSEve & #VSSUnity have taken to the skies," Virgin Galactic tweeted. About an hour later, VSS Unity had separated from VMS Eve and was soaring toward space, the company tweeted. After gliding back down to Earth, the space plane touched down safely at Mojave Air and Space Port shortly before 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT).

Today's flight marked the third powered flight for VSS...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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