Virgin Galactic has tested the return capabilities of their SpaceShipTwo spacecraft for the first time. The video of its first feathered flight is just too beautiful and elegant to describe. Just watch it:
Click on video to see at full screen
The test was conducted at the Mojave Desert, in California. WhiteKnightTwo lifted the suborbital spacecraft to the skies and then released it. Shortly after breaking free, SpaceShipTwo started its feathered descent maneuver. The video—which was taken with telescopic cameras provided and operated by the Clay Observatory—demonstrates that Burt Rutan’s shuttlecock technology works like a charm. Such a simple design, yet so effective. This is exactly why I love aircrafts and engineering.
The 27-foot wingspan ship—which has a cabin of just 12 feet (3.66 meters) long by 7.5 feet (2.28 meter) in diameter—will take six people to space for $200,000 a head when it’s operative. Start saving, people!
Then send me your money.
- Rendezvous with White Knight and Spaceship 2: Virgin Galactic and Virgin America (crufc.ca)
- Solo flight for tourism spacecraft (autonetinsurance.co.uk)
- Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo completes test flight as space tourism dream edges closer (dailymail.co.uk)
- Hold tight: SpaceShipTwo makes near-vertical plunge towards Earth on test flight as space tourism dream edges closer (dailymail.co.uk)
- SpaceShipTwo on its maiden flight (theinformativereport.com)
- Video: SpaceShipTwo’s First “Feather Glide” (mashable.com)
- Video: SpaceShipTwo’s First “Feather Glide” (fakeiitian.com)
- Space tourism craft reaches glide-test milestone (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- SpaceShipTwo Shows Off New, Clever Way to Descend: Wobbling Like a Shuttlecock | 80beats (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Virgin Galactic’s Space Tourist Ship Passes Major Flight Test (space.com)