Virgin Galactic headed into space for the first time

Branson

"Today, for the first time in history, a crewed spaceship, built to carry private passengers, reached space", Branson said earlier in a statement.

During a test flight Thursday morning in Mojave, Calif., a pair of pilots flying the company's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft hit an altitude of 51.4 miles.

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and a star-studded list of supporters were on the ground cheering on the mission throughout the daring flight.

SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Unity, hitched a ride on Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo aircraft before separating and taking off under its own power. Virgin's pilots are aiming to soar 50 miles into the sky - the U.S. military and NASA's definition of the edge of space and high enough to earn commercial astronaut wings by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The new series of tests opens on 13 December, with a goal of further testing the spaceplane's handling and temperature regulation at speeds beyond the sound barrier, and from their performance figure out the ideal moment to stop accelerating and use existing momentum to continue the flight.

The company received an abundance of criticism focused on whether the danger of space tourism made the rewards worthwhile, but after following recommendations set forth by the National Transportation Safety Board's report on the incident along with further design and safety enhancements, they forged ahead to make today's event a reality.

Virgin's first flight date had been pushed back multiple times, following a test flight accident that killed a co-pilot in 2014. "That's 2.9 times the speed of sound".

Just after 11 a.m. ET, SpaceShipTwo had its wheels down, back in the Mojave, safely ending a successful test flight.

VSS Unity
VSS Unity the Virgin Galactic space craft is hoped to be piloted into space for the first time on Thursday

Once the flight reached 30,000 feet, Virgin Galactic pilots performed a series of cabin checks. On Wednesday, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said that's the standard used by the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. agencies.

Reaching the edge of space represents a major milestone for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. "We see this as an envelope-expansion flight, but not expanding the envelope all the way to the outer ends", Whitesides said. He wouldn't estimate when commercial passenger trips might begin.

Virgin Galactic has not yet said when it plans on beginning its first passenger flights.

More than 600 people have committed up to $250,000 United States for rides in the six-passenger rocket, which is about the size of an executive jet.

Branson said he has invested almost US$1 billion of his own money into the venture.

Branson isn't alone in the space tourism business: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is planning to take space tourists on suborbital trips, using the more traditional method of a capsule atop a rocket that blasts off from a launch pad.

Passengers will float in zero-gravity for several minutes, before coming back to Earth.

Nita Ambani's graceful performance is the highlight of #IshaAmbaniSangeet ceremony
On December 7, 2018, Ambanis and Piramals released a joint statement giving out the details of the pre-wedding festivities. These people shall be served food three times daily till December 10 as part of the other wedding-related ceremonies.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

U.S. accuses China for massive Marriott hotel chain data theft
China has reportedly been trying to build a database containing U.S. government officials' personal information. This time it's being accused of carrying out the Marriott data breach , according to the New York Times .

Apple to open $1B campus in Austin, Texas
After losing the title of the most valuable company of the world to Microsoft , Apple is looking to expand its network of offices. The news site GeekWire , citing anonymous sources, pegged Apple's presence in the building at 70,000 square feet in April.

Manchester City will not be banned from European competition
The Italy midfielder, 26, instead followed head coach Maurizio Sarri from Naples to Stamford Bridge in July, signing a five-year contract.

Google rules out a Chinese search engine
Pichai stressed that users opt in to certain data-tracking features, giving the example of fitness apps that measure steps. Google CEO Sundar Pichai is going to testify before Congress today-the first time he's ever done such a thing.

A rancorous first glimpse of new Trump-Democrats dynamic — AP Analysis
Under the plan Democrats are offering Trump , funding for the Homeland Security Department would remain largely flat through 2019. The president insisted on funding for a wall and vowed to take the blame for a government shutdown , if that's what it takes.

Manchester United Want Spurs Boss Pochettino
One of them says something in the media and the other one giving a cryptic message in return on social media. "I feel his youth will help him through these hard times ", Marcelino said.

THE DEBATE - Aye or Nay? Theresa May faces leadership challenge over Brexit
MP Graham Brady says the threshold of 48 letters from lawmakers needed to trigger a leadership vote has been reached. The rebels shot their letters of no-confidence to the party's 1922 committee, which organises leadership contests.

Neo-nazi guilty of murder over Charlottesville riots
On the day of the rally in 2017, his mother texted him to be careful. "I felt really comfortable with them", she said. The jury is expected to hear victim impact statements and make sentencing recommendations next week.

Ayers not taking job as White House chief of staff
President Trump broke the news himself, telling reporters about Kelly's exit as he left for the Army-Navy game on Saturday. It was Saturday afternoon that Trump confirmed the news before making his way to the Army-Navy game.

Nuclear seasons - Far Cry: New Dawn takes place after nuclear fallout
Yet, while this new Montana may look more picturesque than ever, it's still just as unsafe to roam as it was in Far Cry 5 . Like Far Cry Primal was a half-step between Far Cry 4 and Far Cry 5 , this serves as the next half-step to Far Cry 6.

Ex-MLB players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo die in Venezuela car crash
He was a popular teammates at stops with the Seattle Mariners , Cleveland Indians , Chicago Cubs , Astros and Angels . Castillo was a five-year veteran, representing the Pittsburgh Pirates , San Francisco Giants and the Houston Astros .

Spain braces for some 500 violent fans for Copa Libertadores
The victor of the Copa Libertadores will claim the last remaining place at the Fifa Club World Cup in the UAE later this month. Martinez ran the ball into the empty net and River's substitutes and staff all poured onto the pitch to begin the celebrations.

NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars
The low-frequency rumblings were collected by the InSight lander during its first week of operations at Mars. A version of the sounds was altered to be more perceptible to the human ears, according to Nasa.

It’s Clear Trump is Target of Prosecutors And Will Be Indicted
He has previously indicated his panel would seek to look into the Trump family's business ties with Russian Federation . McCarthy speculated that the Justice Department would wait until Trump leaves office to indict him.

Police find body in search for Grace Millane
Police spent several hours searching the area, which they cordoned off and put up a tent, before making the announcement. NZ Police trying to piece together Grace's movements released a picture of a 2016 red Toyota Corolla hatchback.

Other news