Virgin Galactic Checks Rocket Ship, Three Years After Deadly Accident

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Richard Branson’s firm Virgin Galactic performed a supersonic check flight over the Sierra Nevada mountains of its SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket ship on Thursday, the corporate stated, three years after a deadly accident on an earlier model of the ship.

At about 8am native time, The VMS Eve provider aircraft took off from Mojave, California, carrying SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity earlier than releasing it 46,500 ft (14,000 m) above floor, Virgin Galactic stated in a press release.

A rocket motor then accelerated Unity to Mach 1.87 throughout a 30-second rocket burn earlier than the ship’s two pilots shut it down. The spaceship reached 84,000 ft (25,000 m) earlier than making a clean runway touchdown, the corporate stated.

“Space feels tantalisingly shut now,” Branson tweeted after the check flight.

Virgin Galactic’s authentic SpaceShipTwo car broke aside throughout an October 2014 check flight that killed the co-pilot and severely injured the pilot, in an accident that was in the end attributed to pilot error. Each had been staff of Scaled Composites, a Northrop Grumman subsidiary based mostly in Mojave that constructed the car.

The Spaceship Firm, a Virgin Galactic sister agency additionally owned by Branson’s London-based Virgin Group, constructed the brand new SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity, the second in a deliberate fleet of 5, and took over the test-flight program from Scaled.

In 2016, the house firm was granted an working license to fly its passenger ship with the world’s first paying house vacationers as soon as last security checks are accomplished.

The corporate has not but introduced a date for the beginning of passenger flights however is promoting tickets for a trip aboard SpaceShipTwo at $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.6 crores) a seat.

Rides will take passengers about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth, excessive sufficient to expertise a couple of minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth set in opposition to the blackness of house.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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