Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Virgin Galactic takes key step toward commercial space travel

Virgin Galactic takes key step toward commercial space travel

By Kate Rice
Virgin Galactic completed the first rocket-powered flight of its space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo (SS2) in Mojave, Calif., Monday.
This marks entrance into the final phase of vehicle testing prior to commercial service from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The tests were done by teams from Mojave-based Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic.

“The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date,” said Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, who was in Mojave to watch the test.

In the coming months, Virgin Galactic and Scaled are working toward full space flight, which the companies anticipate will take place before the end of 2013.

Travel agency group Virtuoso has the exclusive rights to sell Virgin Galactic in the Americas. Several members who are Accredited Space Agents (ASAs).

Virgin Galactic spacecraft will carry six passengers on suborbital space flights. Passengers will have an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with views of Earth.