During a power flight test conducted by the Virgin Galactic company over Mojave Desert in California, the Spaceship Two rocket plane established a fresh record in height and speed. The test was conducted on Tuesday , May 29th.
This test flight of the rocket has inched it a bit closer to the fact that eventually the Spaceship will be used to take passengers on the rim of the space on mini trips. Earlier this privately funded program was delayed owing to the the unsuccessful flight of the first Spaceship Two of Virgin Galactic, that unfortunately killed one of the test pilot while the second one was severely injured and the spacecraft was destroyed.
The rocket was launched from the Mojave Air and Spaceport situated in Mojave desert, California. It was carried in the sky by a carrier jet named VMS Eve. The mothership VMS Eve vehicle dropped the rocket plane which then boosted it's engines around 12:34 EDT.
The rocket plane is fueled with two types of fuels, one being nitrous oxide while the other is a rubber based solid fuel which is known as HTTB. The rocket motor of VSS Unity Spaceship Two was fired just for 31 seconds and in that time both the aeronauts Dave Mackay and Mark “Forger” Stucky took the aircraft to a steep height. According to the Virgin Galactic officials, the rocket plane Spaceship Two attained the maximum speed of Mach 1.9 and a height of 114,500 feet in the May 29th test flight.
The two pilots Dave Mackay and Mark “Forger” Stucky then steered the rocket plane back to Earth by initiating the 'feathering' mechanism that boosted the twin tail of the craft helping it in orientation and slowing down on it's way while landing. After gearing up the feathering mechanism, the pilots then modified the plane for it's landing and deployed the landing gear of the plane. The craft then touched down the runway at the Mojave Spaceport to finally finish it's testing.
In an earlier powered test flight of VSS Unity Spaceship Two,on April 5th, the aircraft achieved a maximum speed of Mach 1.87 and the top altitude of 84,271 feet.
The typical flight, the Spaceship Two will carry six passengers along with two pilots commanding the rocket plane.
The spaceship of Virgin Galactic is already in a neck to neck competition with the Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin that is going to be the first company to initiate a commercial business in space tourism.