Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Conducts First Unpowered Glide Flight from Spaceport America Written 4 May 2020


SpaceShipTwo "Unity" at rollout event on 19 February 2016 | By Ronrosano/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

SPACE reported that on May 1, the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo suborbital spacecraft, called VSS Unity, “conducted its first unpowered glide flight [from] Spaceport America...notching a milestone on the path to commercial operations, Virgin Galactic representatives announced.” Unity’s “test campaign had been based in Mojave until February of this year, when the vehicle arrived at Spaceport America beneath the wings of its WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane, which is called VMS Eve.” Unity “is designed to be carried aloft by WhiteKnightTwo, then dropped at an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters). At that point,” Unity’s “onboard rocket motor kicks on, blasting the vehicle up to suborbital space.” The “latter step didn’t happen during today’s glide flight. Unity’s pilots, Dave Mackay and C.J. Sturckow, steered the space plane through some unpowered milestones, reaching a top speed of Mach 0.7, before bringing it down for a runway landing at Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic representatives said.”
Full Story (SPACE)