A private spaceship built to carry space tourists on suborbital flights for the company Virgin Galactic passed a major glide test flight while flying over California's Mojave Desert today (May 4): The spacecraft tested out the novel system it will use when re-entering Earth's atmosphere.(from Leonard David at Space.com)
Today's flight marked Virgin Galactic's seventh glide test for its first SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, called the VSS Enterprise, and took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port.SpaceShipTwo was carried to its high-altitude drop zone by the WhiteKnightTwo mothership, VMS Eve. Both vehicles have been designed and built by Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif., an aerospace and specialty composites development company.
And I love to hear the words "private spaceship". It somehow makes the possibilities seem that much closer.