The VSS Unity spacecraft was lifted to an altitude of about 13.5 thousand meters by the VMS Eve carrier aircraft. The plane then released the spacecraft, the device fired the rocket engine and accelerated to a speed three times the speed of sound.
After performing a slow flip in microgravity at the edge of space, VSS Unity returned to the atmosphere in hover mode. The spacecraft has landed on the airstrip of the America Cosmodrome in New Mexico, from which it took off earlier.
“Everything went flawlessly,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier told CNBC about the flight.
Virgin Galactic’s Unity spacecraft is designed for six passengers and two pilots. The company has booked about 600 tickets for future flights, which are selling for between $ 200,000 and $ 250,000.
This flight was the first since February 2019, the first in New Mexico and the third in the history of the company. Virgin Galactic conducted two test flights from its development center in the California Mojave Desert and then moved to its base of operations.
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson was personally present at the launch site, overseeing the flight. He was overseen by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who helped build the $ 218.5 million spaceport as the company’s base of operations.