For the second time, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has traveled to space.
After weather-related problems caused delays, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has returned to space for the second time in its fifth supersonic flight, reaching an altitude of 50 miles above Earth’s surface, the region in space where NASA Astronauts are given their ‘wings’.
Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo ‘mothership’ carried the SpaceShipTwo in another historical flight after taking off from the Mojave Desert.
Once in the air, the supersonic spacecraft separated from the mothership and climbed to an altitude of 50 miles above the Earth, accelerating at speeds close to Mach 3, three times the speed of sound.
The two aircraft climbed tens of thousands of feet in record speed before SpaceShipTwo eventually released from the mothership at an altitude of 45,000ft to continue its journey to space by itself.
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) February 22, 2019
Once the spacecraft reached its altitude, the crew members on board the supersonic spaceship momentarily experience weightlessness as they traveled in micro-gravity.
This flight was the first from Virgin Galactic to carry a passenger into space, apart from its two pilots.
Virgin Galactic released a statement after the flight confirming its spacecraft reached an altitude of 55.85 miles above the Earth’s surface.
Virgin Galactic reached space for the first time on December 13, 2018.
“Today, for the first time in history, a crewed spaceship, built to carry private passengers, reached space,” Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson boasted after the successful flight in December of 2018.
“Today we completed our first revenue-generating flight and our pilots earned their Commercial Astronaut Wings. Today, we have shown that Virgin Galactic really can open space to change the world for good.”
In addition to its pilots, the spacecraft carried NASA payloads for the first time in Virgin Galactic’s history in an effort to bring it as close as possible to commercial weight.
After flying for around fifteen minutes, the spacecraft landed safely back on Earth.