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SpaceShipTwo reaches edge of space on latest test flight
Posted: Sun, Dec 16, 2018, 12:38 PM ET (1738 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo during flight 2018 December 13 (MarsScientific.com and Trumbull Studios) Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo flew to the edge of space for the first time Thursday. The vehicle, named VSS Unity, took off Thursday morning from Mojave Air and Space Port attached to its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. At 11 a.m. Eastern, SpaceShipTwo separated from WhiteKnightTwo and fired its hybrid rocket motor for 60 seconds. The vehicle reached a peak altitude of nearly 83 kilometers and top speed of Mach 2.9 before gliding back to Mojave. Virgin Galactic declared the flight a success and called it its first space flight, noting that it exceeded the altitude of 50 miles used by U.S. government agencies to award astronaut wings even though it did not reach the 100-kilometer Karman Line. Besides testing the performance of the vehicle, SpaceShipTwo carried for experiments for NASA's Flight Opportunities program.
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