Virgin Galactic plane skims space in historic human test flight

15 December, 2018, 13:57 | Author: Ann Santiago
  • Virgin Galactic could soon reach space for the first time

The plane returned to a normal flying configuration before gliding to land on the Mojave Air and Space Port runway. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson has said he wants to be one of the first on board.

Mr Branson greeted the two pilots after the test, declaring: "Space is Virgin territory!" The flight was the first by the vehicle to cross the boundary of 50 miles, or approximately 80 kilometers, that US government agencies use to award astronaut wings. That is different from a long-held view that the boundary is at 100 kilometres.

That prize was collected in October 2004 by the group behind SpaceShipOne, whose design Virgin Galactic adapted for VSS Unity and its other piloted, six-passenger spaceliners (which are collectively termed SpaceShipTwo vehicles).

Virgin's ultimate goal is to build a series of spaceports around the globe, "and we're operating multiple times a week at each one of those and enabling tens of thousands of people to experience space", George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic's chief executive, said in a recent interview. "There is no guarantee that everything will work perfectly first time and, like all programs seeking to take bold steps, we will inevitably have times when things don't go as planned".

Virgin Space Ship Unity was released from a carrier aircraft over California's Mojave Desert early Thursday and ignited its rocket engine.

The two pilots on board Virgin Galactic's spacecraft Unity became the company's first astronauts.

Unity's rocket burned for a total of 60 seconds, catapulting the spacecraft to a speed of Mach 2.9 - 2.9 times the speed of sound or 2,225 miles per hour.

The two pilots aboard VSS Unity on Thursday will be awarded commercial astronaut wings from the The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial space travel.

At a basic level, this flight will aim to fly higher and faster.

Wizards to acquire Ariza in three-team swap with Suns, Grizzlies
Memphis would have also shipped a 2020 second-round pick and a 2019 conditional second-round pick via the Celtics to Washington. The Lakers and Rockets have been after Ariza, who signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Suns this offseason.

Kanye West Attacks Drake in Twitter Tirade
Kanye was still tweeting at the time of writing and Channel24 will not be reposting all of the tweets due to legal restrictions. If the world didn't already know what rapper Kanye West thinks about fellow rapper Drake - they probably know it now.

China said to agree to auto tariff cut as trade talks continue
The U.S. and China also made progress on the regulation of fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. China a year ago purchased about 60 percent of US soybean exports in deals valued at more than $12 billion.

The test demonstrates significant progress toward the start of commercial flights that were promised more than a decade ago.

A University of Florida experiment studying plant growth response to microgravity environments was also among the four investigations selected by NASA's Flight Opportunities program.

So far, more than 600 people have signed up, paying as much as $250,000.

"We made it to space", the company said on Twitter."We travelled at 2.9 Mach on the way up to today".

The rocket is shut down and the craft coasts to the top of its climb - and then begins a descent slowed and stabilized by unique "feathering" technology.

The company also plans to restart marketing of the rides, which had been halted in the aftermath of the 2014 crash that killed a test pilot.

The SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, landed from her maiden spaceflight in Mojave, CA, amid cheers from Richard Branson and the teams from Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.

SpaceX, the company owned by Elon Musk, is focused on carrying equipment for Nasa's programmes - although they do hope to take a Japanese billionaire around the moon by 2023.

Recommended:



Popular

Stephen A. Smith Blunders Chargers-Chiefs Preview on First Take
The Chargers struck back with a 75-yard TD drive to make it a one-score game with just under four minutes left. And while it might have been purely coincidence, that was when Los Angeles finally hit its stride on offense.

Britain’s Brexit vote: How many lawmakers are backing PM May?
DUP leader Nigel Dodds said his party would vote against the deal, but would not move to bring down May's government. A fresh amendment to the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement also appeared created to shore up Mrs May's position.

China suspected in huge Marriott data breach, official says
U.S. investigators reportedly believe Chinese state hackers are behind the attack, which began four years ago. Checking into a Marriott operated hotel in China means your data is in Chinese Government hands.

Defending Super Bowl champ Eagles lose control with OT loss
Last season, the Eagles were awarded the Celebration of the Year by a fan vote at the NFL Honors for their Electric Slide . A win will pull the Eagles into a first-place tie and give Pederson's squad the temporary tie-breaker advantage.

OPEC Cut Was Not Easy
On Tuesday, oil prices rose amid broad expectations that the upcoming OPEC meeting would yield a deal on production cut. Brent for February delivery climbed 23 cents to settle at $60.20 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.

NASA Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space 11 billion miles from Earth
NASA said that since the spacecraft could last billions of years, they may one day "be the only traces of human civilization". The PLS measurements of this "solar wind" plummeted to zero on November 5-the official date of Voyager 2's departure.

Geminid meteor shower to peak Thursday and Friday - plus, a comet!
It is expected that we will be able to start seeing the meteor shower on Thursday 13 December from around 9pm or slightly earlier. Meteors will be visible beginning 8 p.m., but they will be more prominent past midnight and will last until 5 a.m.

Jurgen Klopp reveals which player left him speechless in win over Napoli
Before the arrival of Andrew Robertson , the former City man played virtually a whole season at left-back for the Reds . Millie had cramps - I hope it was only cramp", Klopp added.

Google+ to shut down early after new bug bites 52.2 million users
The personal information that was exposed was from people's Google+ profiles, including names, ages and occupations. It is also poised to come up when Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before Congress on Tuesday.

WatchOS 5.1.2 is Available Today, Brings ECG and Irregular Heartbeat Detection
Suffice it to say, the ECG app is undeniably a huge deal and represents Apple's biggest leap into the personal health arena yet. Contrary to previous reports, changing the region on your phone will not make the Apple Watch ECG feature work internationally.