Virgin Galactic, the company owned by mogul Richard Branson has successfully completed its first live ‘demo’, successfully dropping a rocketplane from 45,000 feet to make a glide landing.
Richard Branson said “I watched the world’s first manned commercial spaceship landing on the runway at Mojave Air and Space Port and it was a great moment, Now, the sky is no longer the limit and we will begin the process of pushing beyond to the final frontier of space itself over the next year.”
The system works via two craft, the VMS (Virgin Mother Ship) Eve, and the VSS (Virgin Space Ship) Enterprise. The VMS drops the VSS after reaching 45,000 feet and the passengers glide slowly down to earth for the landing. Pilots Mike Alsbury and Pete Siebold successfully achieved the test landing at the Mojave runway.
“Our challenge going forward will be to complete our experimental program, obtain our FAA licence and safely bring the system into service,” said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.
KitGuru says: Fancy a trip to the outer reaches of our atmosphere? be prepared to dig deep into your bank balance.