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SpaceShipTwo flies to the edge of space again
Posted: Sat, Feb 23, 2019, 5:29 PM ET (2229 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo on 2019 February 22 test flight (Virgin Galactic) Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle flew its highest flight to date Friday and the first to carry more than two people on board. VSS Unity, as the second SpaceShipTwo vehicle is named, was released from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft at 11:53 am EST (1653 GMT), about 45 minutes after taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. It fired its hybrid rocket engine for roughly one minute, flying to an altitude of 89.9 kilometers and top speed of Mach 3 before gliding back to a runway landing in Mojave at 12:08 pm EST (1708 GMT). At the controls of SpaceShipTwo were David Mackay, Virgin Galactic’s chief test pilot, and Mike "Sooch" Masucci. Also on board was Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor, who evaluated aspects of the customer cabin and spaceflight environment as the company prepares to fly people. The flight was the first for SpaceShipTwo since its first flight above the 50-mile boundary where US government agencies award astronaut wings in December.
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