What is the purpose of Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic celebrates manned space test flight

"VSS Unity" landed safely on the commercial spaceport Spaceport America in the US state of New Mexico.

The "VSS Unity" space aircraft operated by Virgin Galactic completed a manned space test flight on Saturday (local time). The capsule, manned by two pilots, was launched on board a carrier aircraft from the commercial spaceport Spaceport America in the US state of New Mexico. The mother ship dropped off the "VSS Unity" at a height of almost 14 kilometers. Then the space capsule accelerated with its own rocket drive and continued the flight.

"Now in space," wrote Virgin Galactic on Twitter during the event, before the spaceplane returned to Earth and landed safely at the spaceport. The British billionaire Richard Branson, who wants to offer commercial space flights with his company Virgin Galactic, followed the test flight on site.

Test flight failed

During a test flight last December, the rocket engine did not work as planned. "VSS Unity" landed back on earth immediately after separating from the mother ship, without having first reached space.

Branson's private space program suffered the worst setback in November 2014 when the previous model "SpaceShipTwo" crashed on a test flight over California and a pilot was killed in the process. Too early use of the descent program was identified as a possible cause of the crash.

(APA / dpa)