Virgin Galactic Spaceship II Makes Powered Flight

Spaceship II Makes Powered Flight

Virgin Galactic, owned by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, had its first successful powered flight Monday.  After it was dropped from a carrier aircraft, its engines fired for about 16 seconds above the Mojave Desert.

Sir Richard’s goal is to take fare paying passengers approximately 60-70 miles above the earth, giving them an astronaut’s view, and a feeling of weightlessness.  The price is expected to be $200,000 per person, six seats available for each trip.  Over 500 people have already made deposits, including Stephen Hawkings.

Pilot Mark Stucky and co-pilot Mike Alsbury said they reached a speed of Mach 1.2, which is over the speed of sound.  They said the flight went very smoothly, and called it a complete success.

Sir Richard is hoping to make a flight above the atmosphere by the end of the year.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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