Virgin Galactic announced today the successful completion of its first SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America, marking the inaugural solo flight of VSS Unity in New Mexico, an important flight test milestone in preparation for commercial service. It took off with VSS Unity attached to the carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, and the vehicles climbed to an altitude of 50,000-feet before Unity was released, at which point VSS Unity flew freely for the first time in New Mexico airspace.
SpaceShipTwo achieved a glide speed of Mach 0.70 and completed multiple test-points, before touching down smoothly for a runway landing at Spaceport America. This test also provided the first opportunity to ensure all the components required to fly the carrier aircraft and spaceship in glide configuration, worked properly.
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Today’s VSS Unity flight is another exciting milestone for Virgin Galactic’s progress in New Mexico. We are extremely happy and proud of Virgin Galactic, not only for today’s success but also for the exceptional way they have integrated into NM and supported the region and State during this stressful time dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dan Hicks, Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority.