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Rise of SpaceShipTwo: Virgin Galactic's Test Flights Photos

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Lands

Bill Deaver/Deaver-Wiggins and Associates

The private space plane SpaceShipTwo lands after a successful glide test June 21 at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

SpaceShipTwo Over the Moon

Bill Deaver/Deaver-Wiggins and Associates

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo passenger spacecraft and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane are seen flying with the moon below during an April 22, 2011, glide test over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

SpaceShipTwo After Fifth Glide Flight

Bill Deaver/Deaver-Wiggins and Associates

Photojournalist Bill Deaver snapped this photo of Virgin Galactic's first SpaceShipTwo spaceliner on the runway after its fifth glide test flight on April 22, 2011, at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

SpaceShipTwo Mothership Makes Fastest Test Flight

Robert Scherer

Virgin Galactic's mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, on a test flight from the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California.

SpaceShipTwo Mothership WhiteKnightTwo in Flight

Bill Deaver/Deaver-Wiggins and Associates

The mothership WhiteKnightTwo soars over Mojave Air and Space Port in California after releasing the private space plane SpaceShipTwo.

Ground Crews Prep SpaceShipTwo

Virgin Galactic/Mark Greenberg

Ground crews load nitrous oxide into SpaceShipTwo in preparation for an April 12, 2013 test flight.

SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo in Flight

Virgin Galactic

SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo take to the skies an April 12, 2013 test flight.

SpaceShipTwo’s Rocket Nozzle in Flight

MarsScientific.com/Clay Center Observatory/Virgin Galactic

For the first time ever, oxidizer flows through SpaceShipTwo’s rocket nozzle in flight, successfully demonstrating key components of the system. The April 12, 2013 test flight was a key milestone in advance of SpaceShipTwo’s first rocket powered flight.

SpaceshipTwo in Flight Across Skies

Scaled Composites / Michael Fuchs

For the first time ever, oxidizer flows through SpaceShipTwo’s rocket nozzle in flight, successfully demonstrating key components of the system. The April 12, 2013 test flight was a key milestone in advance of SpaceShipTwo’s first rocket powered flight.

SpaceShipTwo’s Test Pilots and Engineers

Virgin Galactic / Mark Greenberg

SpaceShipTwo’s test pilots and some of the engineers who helped design the vehicle are all smiles after a successful test flight on April 12, 2013.

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