Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise makes its solo flight


Drop test (Virgin Galactic)

The Enterprise spaceship is released from underneath the Eve carrier plane


Virgin Galactic conducted the first piloted gliding flight of its commercial suborbital spaceship, the VSS Enterprise, today, releasing the winged rocket plane from the WhiteKnightTwo mothership at an altitude of 45,000 feet above the Mojave Desert.

With Scaled Composites pilot Pete Siebold and copilot Mike Alsbury at the controls, the futuristic twin-tail spacecraft glided to a touchdown at the Mojave Air and Space Port 11 minutes after its release from WhiteKnightTwo, also known as Eve. The craft was not equipped with a rocket motor for the glide test.

“The VSS Enterprise was a real joy to fly, especially when one considers the fact that the vehicle has been designed not only to be a Mach 3.5 spaceship capable of going into space but also one of the world’s highest altitude gliders,” Siebold said in a Virgin Galactic press release.

Branson said he expects rocket-powered test flights to begin next year, followed by test flights into space “hopefully by the end of next year.”

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One Response to “Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise makes its solo flight”

  1. Spaceport America gets ready for first commercial passengers to space « The k2p blog Says:

    […] Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise made its solo flight in October. Two other major structures nearing completion at the nearly $200 million facility are the air-fire rescue facility and a 110,000-square-foot hangar, authority spokesman David Wilson said. […]

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