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Emily LakdawallaApril 5, 2013

Pretty pictures: Gliding flight for SpaceShipTwo

I post these for no other reason than that they are just breathtaking. I've seen these two lovely aircraft up close, but it's another thing entirely to see them in the sky. Especially to see SpaceShipTwo gliding free of WhiteKnightTwo. The pictures were taken during a test flight on April 3; Virgin Galactic shared them on their Facebook page yesterday. SpaceShipTwo has still not been tested in powered flight.

SpaceShipTwo released

Virgin Galactic

SpaceShipTwo released
SpaceShipTwo just after she is released from WhiteKnightTwo for another successful test flight. This was her 24th glide flight and the 6th in-flight test of her patented feathered re-entry system. The flight also successfully verified SS2's nitrous loading and venting system, another key milestone on the way to her first powered flight.
SpaceShipTwo released

Virgin Galactic

SpaceShipTwo released
SpaceShipTwo just after she is released from WhiteKnightTwo for another successful test flight. This was her 24th glide flight and the 6th in-flight test of her patented feathered re-entry system. The flight also successfully verified SS2's nitrous loading and venting system, another key milestone on the way to her first powered flight.
Gliding past the Moon

Virgin Galactic / Oliver Ouyang

Gliding past the Moon
SpaceShipTwo glided past the Moon as she came in to land at the Mojave Spaceport after another successful test flight. This was her 24th glide flight and the 6th in-flight test of her patented feathered re-entry system. The flight also successfully verified SS2's nitrous loading and venting system, another key milestone on the way to her first powered flight.

Read more: pretty pictures, commercial spaceflight

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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