Yesterday, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo fired its rockets for the first time after being released from its mothership, going supersonic. It’s expected to make its first official flight into space before year’s end. Previously, SpaceShipTwo has only completed un-powered glide flights. Continue reading for a video and more information.

Here’s what Richard Branson has to say: “The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date. For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today’s supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship’s powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year’s end.”

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