Virgin Galactic has continued its incremental test programme and a third flight in July cracked Mach 2 as pilots kept the rocket burning for 42 seconds, powering through the stratosphere to an apogee of 170,800 feet. The successful flight indicates the company is not far off from sending tourists to space.
The pilots hope to fly the rocket ship to an altitude exceeding 50 miles (80 kilometers), which Virgin Galactic considers the boundary of space.
This May 29, 2018 photo provided by Virgin Galactic shows the VSS Unity craft during a supersonic flight test.
Virgin's billionaire founder Sir Richard cried, high-fived and hugged spectators, as hundreds of the firm's employees and family members watched the launch.
The company planned to burn the rockets for about 50 seconds, not to their full capacity but enough to send the spacecraft and its two pilots to the edge of space. Dubbed VSS Unity it took off from the runway attached to its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo.
The VSS Unity is a SpaceShipTwo air-launched rocket plane that has been designed specifically for commercial use.
As well as the higher altitudes, the company said they will also look to simulate the commercial weight distribution on the test flight in preparation for future passengers.
The flight was the fourth rocket-powered test mission of VSS Unity, which Virgin Galactic officially unveiled in February 2016.
Virgin Galactic’s First Spaceflight on December 13th 2018
Virgin Galactic's first experimental spacecraft broke apart during a 2014 test flight, killing the co-pilot.
Branson isn't alone in the space tourism business: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is planning to take space tourists on suborbital trips, using the more traditional method of a capsule atop a rocket that blasts off from a launch pad.
"If we have a very good day, we could potentially have the first space flight into space of Virgin Galactic, so that would be a big milestone from our personal company and then on a national level, I think this would be the first human spaceflight from American soil into space since the retirement of the USA space shuttle", stated George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic.
Both companies are still in the testing phase.
More than 600 people have committed up to $250,000 for rides in the six-passenger rocket, which is about the size of an executive jet. Some have waited over a decade for their shot.
"The real limitation we're shooting for is an altitude", said Mike Moses, president of Virgin Galactic, ahead of the launch, as reported by SpaceNews.
That day can not come soon enough for Mercury 13 candidate Wally Funk, who booked her flight on Branson's dream machine back in 2012 and at 79 might finally get a chance to go to space.
A test flight more than a decade in the making is scheduled to take place December 13 as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle is set to make its highest and fastest flight to date, one that, if all goes well, will take it beyond one boundary of space.
Man rescued after being trapped for 2 days in grease vent An investigation is under way into whether the man was trespassing or meant to vandalise or steal from the property, police said. Emergency officials worked to determine how to free the man, who was wedged in the vent, covered in thick, black food grease.
It is India's first victory in a Test series-opener in Australia and their first Test win in the country since 2008. The Perth pitch is likely to assist fast bowlers and Shastri was sure they will play a crucial role.
Cohen's father, Maurice Cohen, who showed little emotion during the hearing, later told reporters: "My heart is ripped". In his first public reaction since the sentencing, Trump said that he was the victim of the attorney's malpractice.
In return, a critical number of lawmakers who vowed to oppose Pelosi will support her in a crucial January 3 House floor vote. Hoyer noted he had repeatedly cosponsored legislation in the past that called for repealing term limits for the presidency.
It is noted that while the Prime Minister has survived the vote of no confidence in her leadership, in reality little has changed. Chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady announced the results in the Houses of Parliament this evening.
The Ellen Show debuted in 2003 and over the course of those 16 seasons she has done more than 2,700 episodes. She has already extended her contract until the summer of 2020, and she sounds conflicted about what to do.
The Guardian noted the report disappeared from Russia-24's YouTube channel on Wednesday, but reappeared in the afternoon. For starters, he was nearly perfectly human-shaped and didn't have any external sensors.
Cohen pleaded guilty in November for lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal in Russian Federation . In this photo from June 21, 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.
And with the movie coming out in a little less than a year, we have our first look at the upcoming live-action/animated hybrid. For us it has always seemed obvious that it would be covered in fur, and we never considered anything else.
Police investigating a deadly shooting in a cathedral in the Brazilian city of Campinas have identified the gunman. "An individual entered a church and opened fire on several people", a police spokesperson said, reports AFP .
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the claims were completely inappropriate and not very diplomatic. The ministry said the bombers were shadowed by Norwegian F-18 fighter jets during part of their flight.
Executive producer and writer Jon Favreau spoke about the new cast additions, praising their additions to the new series. The Mandalorian is now in production, but fans can expect the series to hit Disney Plus sometime in 2019.
Geminid Meteor Shower 2018: When and How to Watch
It is expected that we will be able to start seeing the meteor shower on Thursday 13 December from around 9pm or slightly earlier. Named after the constellation Gemini they appear to radiate from, the Geminids are also unique in another aspect.
Phoenix council postpones vote on Suns arena renovation
Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams and Councilwomen Laura Pastor and Debra Stark have asked for a postponement of the vote. The Suns agreed to a 40-year lease in 1992, but the deal included a provision for the team to opt out at 30 years.