After more than a decade in the making, on December 13, 2018, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo made it’s highest and fastest test to date, reaching beyond one boundary of space. WhiteKnightTwo took SpaceShipTwo, to an altitude of approximately 50,000ft before releasing the aircraft to complete the flight. After free-falling for a short time, veteran pilots Mark Stucky and former NASA astronaut CJ Sturkow powered the hybrid rocket motors of SpaceShipTwo for 60 seconds and took the spacecraft up to 82.7 kms/ 51.4 miles above Earth. NASA and the U.S. Air Force award astronaut wings to those who exceed 80kms/ 50 miles in altitude. This is the first manned spaceflight from U.S. soil since the last Space Shuttle flight in July 2011.
Virgin Galactic is a partner and sponsor of the Las Cruces Space Festival. During the Spaceport America ‘Open House’ on April 7, there will be an opportunity to meet the teams operating WhitKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. Virgin Galactic will also be at our ‘Making Contact’ event on April 11.