Just after two years from tragic flight of VSS Enterprise, Virgin Galactic is going to perform test flight of their second SpaceShipTwo-class spaceplane tomorrow.
According to Spacenews.com, Virgin Galactic is going to finish lasting two years period without flights of their spaceplane and return to test flights campaign. After disaster of VSS Enterprise on 31 October 2014 Company halted flights of their ultimate spaceplane, VSS Unity which was manufactured as second piece. To remind, VSS Enterprise during test flight over Mojave Desert fall apart in the air after aerodynamic brake was initialized prematurely. Co-pilot Michael Alsbury died and pilot Peter Siebold was seriously injured. Tomorrow, after two years, Virgin Galactic returns with test glide flight of second vehicle. According to Spacenews.com, Virgin Galactic test pilot CJ Sturckow stated, that he is preparing to next flight inside VSS Unity; it will be performed on 1st November from Mojave Air and Space Port. WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane will lift VSS Unity with CJ Sturckow inside and release spaceplane at designated altitude. VSS Unity will perform glide flight and land, but during flight it will not use propulsion. It will be first from number of glide flights planned to test vehicle aerodynamics before installing propulsion and first engine flight. During glide flights in the place of propulsion and fuel appropriate ballast will be installed to provide identical mass and flight characteristics as with vehicle equipped with engines. According to Twitter profile of Virgin Galactic, pilot is going to perform approach maneuver before landing; unfortunately no more details on flight were given.
On picture above: X prize Virgin Galactic vehicle.