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Virgin Galactic’s Second Successful Test Flight

by Kenny Hoeschen

Virgin Galactic is again getting closer to opening the doors to space tourism. In this video, Richard Branson describes the second, successful rocket-powered test flight by Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle. The ship traveled through the sound barrier and returned safely to Earth using the ship’s unique reentry system, with the wing and tail sections rotating to the “feather position” to slow the ship’s descent. It’s incredible what the Virgin Galactic team has been able to accomplish.

SpaceShipTwo is a prototype commercial version of SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 became the first privately developed manned rocket to reach space. Since the historic flight, more than 500 aspiring space tourists have paid $200,000 or plunked down deposits, patiently waiting for a chance to travel into orbit on a Virgin Galactic craft.

Branson states that the company is on track for the start of its commercial spaceflight service in 2014.

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