The tests were conducted in New Mexico.
The company Virgin Galactic of the British billionaire Richard Branson has conducted the next flight tests of its Unity spacecraft of the SpaceShipTwo series in the United States. This was reported on the company’s website.
The tests were conducted in the state of New Mexico. It was previously expected that the launch would take place on February 13, but it was canceled. Virgin Galactic then noted that they had decided to “allocate additional time for technical checks.”
On Saturday morning, the carrier plane, to the bottom of which the spaceship was attached, took off from the spaceport “America.” After it rose to a set altitude of 16 km, the Unity spacecraft with two pilots on board disconnected from it.
The spacecraft, using its own engines, rose to an altitude of more than 89 km -above the boundary of space (80.45 km), which is adhered to in the US Air Force. Thus, “with today’s flight, New Mexico became the third American state from which manned space flights were carried out,” Virgin Galactic stressed. At the end of the tests, Unity smoothly descended and landed on the runway of the spaceport.
In December 2020, similar tests failed. The spacecraft, designed for suborbital flights, separated from the carrier and started its engine, but turned it off a second later. Then he made a gliding flight down and landed safely. According to the developers, Unity starts at an altitude of 16 km, separating from the carrier, and spends more than two hours in flight. It can take on board up to six passengers, who are allowed to see the Earth from a height of 100 km and experience a state of weightlessness for a few minutes. SpaceShipTwo series spaceships were designed to perform regular tourist suborbital flights.