To the space tourism market soonanother participant will come out - Virgin Galactic, which, despite numerous delays, is steadily advancing towards its first real journey to a suborbital altitude. The SpaceShipTwo spaceship, called VSS Unity, made a successful test flight and landed at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Less than two months ago, May 1, 2020, Virgincarried out the first test flight. The second test, according to company representatives, was held in high-speed mode, when, with a decrease, the spacecraft reached a speed of Mach 0.85 or 1040 km / h. Earlier in May, when testing, a speed of only 0.7 Mach was achieved.
Carrier, twin-aircraft White Knight Tworaised SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of 15 km, from where an air launch was made with further planning of the ship without turning on its own power units.
As a result, according to the statement of the head of VirginGalactic, the test allowed us to evaluate the maneuverability of the ship, the stability of the systems and conduct a preliminary check of the technical characteristics of SpaceShipTwo necessary for further tests with the engines turned on.
Two pilots managed the ship, and they helda series of maneuvers that made it possible to pass control points, compare the operation of systems and the stability of the ship with flight at lower speeds. As a result, the company will be able to switch to testing the ship with the engines turned on in the near future.