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Virgin Galactic plans first rocket-powered test flight from New Mexico for next week – TechCrunch

Virgin galactic vss unity

Virgin Galactic has revealed the flight window for the primary rocket-powered flight of its VSS Unity spacecraft from the shiny new Spaceport America in New Mexico. The ship may very well be within the air as early as December 11.

This flight would be the third for Unity out of the long run passenger spaceport, however the final two have been gliding flights, not propulsive ones. This would be the first time Unity has hit the throttle in almost two years — again when it touched the edge of space at something like Mach 2.9.

Since then the corporate and its plane have moved house, from Mojave, California to the spaceport in New Mexico, the place it hopes finally passengers will come and lounge earlier than taking off on a quick go to to area.

The glides, through which Unity is taken to a excessive altitude by a service craft, the VMS Eve, and let go to carry out a managed descent to Earth, present that the whole lot is bolted on tightly and prepared for the extra substantial rigors of rocket thrust.

Initially this powered flight was supposed to occur a bit earlier within the 12 months, however COVID-19-related precautions led to delays. However climate allowing, subsequent week ought to see Unity flying once more.

This flight gained’t be strictly for testing functions, although: Will probably be taking on a number of payloads below NASA’s Flight Alternatives Program, which contracts with smaller launch suppliers to carry out experiments in and close to area. Different aspiring area journey firms, like Blue Origin, have additionally taken up payloads for transient visits to the sting of the ambiance.

After all COVID-19 continues to be a severe problem, so Virgin Galactic is limiting publicity by minimizing individuals on website: no media or friends, solely important personnel.

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Devin Coldewey