Virgin Galactic Makes Third Supersonic Test Flight in the AV Desert

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, which is a six-passenger, two-pilot spacecraft conducted its third rocket-powered test flight on this Friday(10.01.14).
Two important SS2 systems, the RCS and thermal protection coating, were tested during today’s flight in preparation for upcoming full space flights. The spaceship’s RCS will allow its pilots to maneuver the vehicle in space, permitting an optimal viewing experience for those on board and aiding the positioning process for spacecraft re-entry.
SS2’s propulsion system has been developed by Sierra Nevada Corp and is the world’s largest operational hybrid rocket motor.
This flight was the third opportunity to see a supersonic, rocket-powered test of the Virgin Galactic system after dozens of successful subsonic test flights. “Today’s flight was another resounding success,” said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “We focused on gathering more transonic and supersonic data, and our chief pilot, Dave, handled the vehicle beautifully. With each flight test, we are progressively closer to our target of starting commercial service in 2014.”

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