SpaceShipTwo Slated for Next Test Flight

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Blasts Into the Upper Atmosphere space wallpaper
Virgin Galactic conducted a historic first supersonic test flight of SpaceShipTwo on April 29, 2013, in the Mojave Desert, CA. (Image credit: and Clay Center Observatory)

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger, two-pilot suborbital spacecraft, is expected to make its third powered test flight within a month, said the company’s chief executive George Whitesides.

So far, about 650 customers have put down deposits or paid in full for rides aboard SpaceShipTwo, which now cost $250,000.

SpaceShipTwo’s last powered flight was in September when it fired its engine for about 20 seconds. To reach suborbital space, the engine will need to burn for about one minute.

Speaking at a science writers conference in Gainesville, Fla., on Sunday (Nov. 3), Whitesides said the company is on track to begin its commercial space flight services next year. The first passengers include company founder Richard Branson and family.

This article was provided by Discovery News.

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Irene Klotz
Contributing Writer

Irene Klotz is a founding member and long-time contributor to She concurrently spent 25 years as a wire service reporter and freelance writer, specializing in space exploration, planetary science, astronomy and the search for life beyond Earth. A graduate of Northwestern University, Irene currently serves as Space Editor for Aviation Week & Space Technology.