Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to congratulate Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic, and the SpaceShipTwo team for successfully conducting today’s first-ever glide flight of the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spacecraft. Over the Mojave Desert this morning, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo was released from carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo at an altitude of 45,000 ft. and descended for about 15 minutes before landing at the Mojave Air and Space Port.
“First flight days are always extraordinary,” said Stu Witt, General Manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port. “This team effort by so many has been punctuated by a successful first test flight, and now everyone seeking a ride to space is a giant step closer.”
“This is a critical milestone in Virgin Galactic’s test program and a great day for the commercial spaceflight industry,” added John Gedmark, Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “At the end of the day, getting hardware off the ground is what it’s really all about. Today’s SpaceShipTwo test flight marks another key milestone towards opening the space frontier for private individuals, researchers, and explorers. Congratulations to the entire SpaceShipTwo team.”
SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo are being developed for Virgin Galactic by legendary aircraft development firm Scaled Composites. The vehicles build on the success of SpaceShipOne, the first privately-built vehicle to fly a person into space, which won the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for its achievements. SpaceShipTwo will carry six people in addition to two pilots, providing those on board with a view of space and several minutes of weightlessness once space flights begin. Eventual operational flights of SpaceShipTwo will occur from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director John Gedmark at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.349.1121.