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Virgin Galactic VSS Unity Powered Flight


VSS Unity during its first rocket-powered flight, Photo: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity completed its first supersonic rocket-powered flight on April 5.

Released by its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, VSS Eve, at around 46,500ft (14,173m) over the Sierra Nevada Mountains the craft’s hybrid rocket motor was engaged and the craft accelerated to Mach 1.87 during a 30-second rocket burn.

It climbed to 84,271ft (25,685m) before the vehicle’s tail booms were ‘feathered’ and Unity glided back to Mojave.

Virgin Galactic plans to begin commercial flights later this year.

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