SpaceShipTwo another step closer to powered flight

SpaceShipTwo completed a glide flight yesterday at the Mojave Air and Space Port, bringing the suborbital vehicle ever closer to its first powered test flight. Details about the flight have not shown up yet on the official test log, but it appears to have been a successful flight.

The glide flight was the first for SpaceShipTwo since December 19, when it made its first such flight in “powered flight” configuration, with its rocket motor installed. At that time Virgin Galactic said they planned a “minimum” of two more glide flights before beginning powered flights, suggesting that, after yesterday’s flight, there may be just one more glide test before SpaceShipTwo ignites its rocket motor in flight. Virgin has also been publicizing a series of static fire tests of the rocket motor, the most recent of which took place on March 30, according to its test logs. Those engine tests are a “short series of final tests” before SpaceShipTwo’s first powered flight, according to the company.

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