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Virgin Galactic completed a successful glide test, keeping on track for its first space tourist expedition later this year.
More test flights will be conducted over the next few months to add new elements.
Hundreds - People - Deposits - Voyage - Celebrities
Hundreds of people have already placed deposits for the voyage, including celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Hawking.
A ticket aboard the spacecraft costs $250,000.
Virgin - Galactic - Spacecraft - VSS - Unity
Virgin Galactic's spacecraft the VSS Unity completed a successful glide test last week, keeping the company on track to operate the first space tourist expeditions later this year.
The test pushed "Unity's atmospheric capabilities hard, touching top-end glide speeds as pilots Mark 'Forger' Stucky and Michael 'Sooch' Masucci completed a busy test card," the company said in an update.
Thursday - Unity - Mothership - Mojave - Desert
On Thursday, the Unity was released from its mothership over the Mojave Desert at an altitude of 50,000 feet and began a steep descent. The spacecraft accelerated to Mach 0.9 to test its flight performance, stability and control before safely landing.
"At this stage of the glide flight programme, each flight is essentially a dry run for rocket-powered test flights,"...
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