Virgin Galactic has announced that VSS Enterprise successfully completed its inaugural captive carry flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport.
‘Captive carry’ means that the spaceship stayed firmly tethered to the ‘mothership’ plane during the flight.
The test flight is another step towards the establishment of the world’s first commercial space program, led by the uber-minted Richard Branson who commented:
Seeing the finished spaceship in December was a major day for us but watching VSS Enterprise fly for the first time really brings home what beautiful, ground-breaking vehicles Burt and his team have developed for us. It comes as no surprise that the flight went so well; the Scaled team is uniquely qualified to bring this important and incredible dream to reality. Today was another major step along that road and a testament to US engineering and innovation.
The VSS Enterprise test flight programme is set to continue through 2010 and 2011.
Once commercial operations start, the mothership will cruise to an altitude of 50,000 feet, before VSS Enterprise detaches itself, engages its hybrid rocket motor, and blast the lucky, lucky passengers into suborbital space.
If you fancy going on a space jaunt in the near future, here’s how the booking form reads:
Book your place in space now and join around 250 Virgin Galactic astronauts who will venture into space.
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If you’ve got any spare tickets going for the maiden voyage, don’t forget your pals at Wirefresh, Dicky!