SpaceShipTwo, which in the near future space tourists can make commercial flights, has passed another flight test, successfully completing the seventh flight. Just like last time, the ship climbed to a height of fifteen kilometers on a two-body WhiteKnightTwo carrier, after which it was disconnected and began to plan. With the engines turned off, the ship can fly at a speed of 1,100 kilometers per hour, and this is exactly what SS2 achieved today in the course of a rolling flight.
Richard Branson wrote in his twitter that SpaceShipTwo made the seventh flight in the planning mode and successfully landed. The head of Virgin Galactic expressed the hope that this test flight without engines for SS2 was the last.
The engines stopped turning on after the unsuccessful flight that took place in 2014 – then after separation from the carrier aircraft the ship caught fire. The accident led to the death of one of the pilots, the second managed to eject. Now that the separation procedure has been fulfilled by one hundred percent, and the engines have been tested, it’s time to start a full test flight.
The ship’s development is being carried out by the company since 2009, but even now it’s hard to say when Virgin Galactics will begin to carry tourists to the border of space. Full-scale tests of engines, like many other tests, are yet to come. Now the ship flies even without the fuel tank, which the developers imitate with the help of a water filled tank.