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SPACE

Virgin Galatic’s SpaceShipTwo makes first flight to space successfully

Virgin Galatic’s SpaceShipTwo makes first flight to space successfully
The Siliconreview
24 May, 2021

In a recent announcement, Virgin Galactic has stated that its SpaceShipTwo made its first flight to space in more than two years. It has completed the first in a series of four suborbital flights planned by the company. The SpaceShipTwo vehicle named VSS Unity, with pilots CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay on board, took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The plane released VSS Unity, at which time the spaceplane fired its hybrid rocket motor for approximately 60 seconds.

It is reported that VSS Unity ascended on a suborbital trajectory before gliding back to a runway landing at Spaceport America. The company only provided the updates via social media, although NASASpaceFlight.com did webcast the vehicle's successful release and powered ascent. The flight, the first human launch to space from New Mexico, carried payloads for NASA's Flight Opportunities program.

This was the first SpaceShipTwo flight since one in December. The company has said that the plane glided back to a safe landing. Also, it has traced the problem to electromagnetic interference from a new flight computer system, an issue the company spent several months correcting. After addressing a potential maintenance issue with WhiteKnightTwo, it successfully made its space flight.