January 14, 2014
Virgin Galactic Reaches New Heights
In a recent test run, Virgin Galactic’s reusable space vehicle, the SS2, reached an altitude of 71,000 feet and speeds of Mach 1.4. This is test flight number three on its journey to be the world’s first commercial suborbital space flight, tentatively planned for later this year. Let’s put 71,000 feet into perspective—that’s about twice as high as most commercial jetliners fly. In this particular run, engineers were testing the spaceship’s reaction control system for maneuverability in space and a thermal protection coating on its tail bone to protect the vehicle skin from the rocket motor temperatures. And they checked them both off the list because the objectives were successfully completed.
[ Read the Article: SpaceShipTwo Reaches New Heights During Third Test Flight Friday ]