Virgin Galactic Glide Test A Success

3rd May 2023
Virgin Galactic Glide Test A Success

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company founded by Sir Richard Branson, has achieved another significant milestone in its quest to make space travel accessible to civilians. The Virgin Galactic glide test from Spaceport America in New Mexico ran successfully. The successful flight not only demonstrates the capabilities of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft but also paves the way for future manned missions into space.

The Virgin Galactic Glide Test 

On April 27, 2023, Virgin Galactic’s VMS Eve, a carrier aircraft, took off from Spaceport America with the VSS Unity spacecraft attached beneath its wings. 

The glide flight, named VMS Eve after the late mother of Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier, involved the SpaceShipTwo vehicle being released from its carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, at an altitude of approximately 47,000 feet. 

Importance of the Glide Flight 

The glide flight is a crucial stage in the development of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism program. It allows the team to evaluate the performance and handling characteristics of the spacecraft in a real-world scenario. By conducting a series of glide flights, the company can refine its flight procedures and gather valuable data to ensure the safety and reliability of its spacecraft.

Each successful test brings Virgin Galactic closer to the ultimate goal of offering commercial space travel experiences to paying customers. Over 640 of these customers have been waiting since 2013 for their turn at the suborbital experience.

Next Steps and the Future 

Following the glide flight, Virgin Galactic will continue to progress through its rigorous flight test program. The company’s focus will now shift towards conducting powered flights, in which the SpaceShipTwo vehicle will ignite its rocket motor to propel itself into suborbital space. 

These upcoming tests will be critical for validating the vehicle’s propulsion system and ensuring it performs as expected during the most demanding phases of the flight. 

Pushing the Boundaries of Space Exploration

Virgin Galactic’s recent glide flight from Spaceport America demonstrates the company’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration. With each successful milestone, the dream of space tourism becomes more tangible. 

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