SpaceShipTwo conducted a successful glide test yesterday at the Mojave Air and Space port in Mojave, Calif. Lifted into the air a little after 7 a.m. local time, SpaceShipTwo was carried into the sky, released, and landed around 8:40 a.m. PDT, according to a report on the website Parabolic Arc. This was the second of three planned glide tests that were conducted with the engine installed, a prelude to powered flight tests slated to take place later this year.
The official nomenclature for SpaceShipTwo is the Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo, but it is more commonly referred to as “SS2.” The spacecraft is designed to ferry paying customers to the edge of space and allow them to experience a few moments of weightlessness. SpaceShipTwo is carried into the sky underneath its carrier craft WhiteKnightTwo. Both craft have been undergoing extensive testing since 2010.
Virgin Galactic, the owner of “The SpaceShip Company,” a joint venture between Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic, has stated its intent to build a fleet of these craft. While its main customer would be tourists who are able to pay the $200,000 bill for the ride, organizations wanting to conduct scientific research would also be selected.