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Gallery: Thursday's rocket-powered flight sees VSS Unity break Mach 2

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The SpaceShip Company and Virgin Galactic conducted a test flight of VSS Unity on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Photo Credit: Matthew Kuhns / SpaceFlight Insider

The SpaceShip Firm and Virgin Galactic performed a check flight of VSS Unity on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Picture Credit score: Matthew Kuhns / SpaceFlight Insider

MOJAVE, Calif. — In a span of lower than 4 months, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity has carried out three “rocket-powered” supersonic flights. The newest check passed off on Thursday, July 26, 2018. 

Take a look at pilots Dave Mackay and Mike “Sooch” Masucci aboard the VSS Unity had been dropped from the VMS Eve service plane (which was piloted by Todd Ericson and Kelly Latimer) at an altitude of about 46,500 ft (14,173 meters).

The duo aboard VSS Unity then activated the spacecraft’s rocket motor and entered into an nearly vertical ascent, reaching speeds of Mach 2.47 (2,780 ft per second) and an altitude of some 170,800 ft (52,060 meters).

The SpaceShip Company and Virgin Galactic conducted a test flight of VSS Unity on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Photo Credit: Matthew Kuhns / SpaceFlight Insider

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity touches down after a profitable check flight on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Picture Credit score: Matthew Kuhns / SpaceFlight Insider

“Having been a U2 pilot and carried out plenty of excessive altitude work, or what I assumed was excessive altitude work, the view from 170,000 ft was simply completely wonderful. The flight was thrilling and admittedly stunning. We had been in a position to full numerous check factors which is able to give us good perception as we progress to our aim of economic service,” Masucci stated.

The check flight noticed the pilots journey by way of Earth’s Stratosphere and into the Mesosphere.

“It was a thrill from begin to end. Unity’s rocket motor carried out magnificently once more and Sooch pulled off a clean touchdown. This was a brand new altitude document for each of us within the cockpit, to not point out our model within the again, and the views of Earth from the black sky had been magnificent,” Mackay stated after the pair had touched down on the Mojave Air and House Port.

Thursday’s flight helped to assemble knowledge about Unity’s supersonic aerodynamics in addition to thermal dynamics. The workforce assembled by Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Firm will now use knowledge from tools inside Unity’s cabin to enhance the spacecraft’s design. A launch issued by Virgin Galactic said that knowledge concerning: temperatures, pressures, humidity, acoustics, thermal response, vibration, acceleration and even radiation – was collected through the July 26 flight.

It’s hoped that these check flights will to rich adventure-toursists to journey into area for suborbital hops.

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Photographs courtesy of Matthew Kuhns of SpaceFlight Insider’s visible workforce.

MOJAVE, Calif. — Virgin Galactic and The SpaceShip Firm performed a rocket-powered check flight of the VSS Unity spacecraft on Thursday, July 26, 2018. This flight was the third carried out inside a time span of lower than 4 months. Take a look at pilots Dave Mackay and Mike “Sooch” Masucci contained in the VSS Unity had been launched from the service plane VMS Eve at an altitude of roughly 46,500 ft (14,173 meters). The pilot then activated Unity’s rocket motor and traveled to an apogee (the furthest of their ascent) of an estimated 170,800 ft (52,060 meters). Their pace reached some 2.47 mach (2,780 ft per second). VMS Eve was piloted by Todd Ericson and Kelly Latimer. Photographs courtesy: Matthew Kuhns

 

 

 

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