Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: SpaceShipTwo

  • Virgin Galactic receives SpaceShipTwo operator license, starts taxi tests

    Derek RichardsonAugust 1st, 2016

    Virgin Galactic has conducted its first taxi test with the SpaceShipTwo known as VSS Unity. Combined with the recently awarded operator license by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA-AST), the space tourism company is gearing up for a series of ground and flight evaluations.

  • One Vision: Virgin Galactic unveils ‘Unity’ to the world

    Matthew KuhnsFebruary 19th, 2016

    MOJAVE AIR AND SPACEPORT, Ca. — With all the pomp the public has come to expect from the company, Virgin Galactic has unveiled the new SpaceShipTwo, Unity, to the world. The spacecraft was revealed during a ceremony held on Feb. 19, 2016, at the Mojave Air and Spaceport.

  • Stephen Hawking to help roll out, christen SpaceShipTwo No. 2

    Joe LatrellJanuary 5th, 2016

    Virgin Galactic is almost back to conducting test flights again. SpaceShipTwo Tail No. 2 will be unveiled at a special event held at the Mojave Air and Space port. The debut is scheduled for Feb. 19, with several Virgin Galactic VIPs and the company's founder Richard Branson slated to attend.

  • Former U.S. Air Force Colonel joins Virgin Galactic as pilot

    Jason RhianNovember 9th, 2015

    Virgin Galactic issued a statement on Nov. 9, revealing it had appointed Lieutenant Colonel Kelly Latimer, U.S. Air Force, Ret., as a pilot with the NewSpace firm. Latimer is a combat veteran who has experience at NASA and Boeing – which will come in handy with the company's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.

  • Virgin Galactic selects Nicola Pecile as new pilot

    Tomasz NowakowskiAugust 31st, 2015

    Virgin Galactic has announced that it has selected Nicola Pecile as the company’s new pilot. Pecile will be Virgin Galactic’s test pilot and a future astronaut with the SpaceShipTwo program. He will be transitioning from NTPS to Virgin Galactic in the autumn of this year.

  • NTSB releases report on SpaceShipTwo accident

    Collin SkocikJuly 29th, 2015

    On Oct. 31, 2014, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed near Koehn Dry Lake in California, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. What has followed since the time of the accident has been a detailed investigation into what caused the crash, the findings of which have now been released.

  • Virgin Galactic makes plans for new generation of SpaceShipTwo

    Collin SkocikJanuary 19th, 2015

    It has been less than ten weeks since the fatal crash that destroyed Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo which cost the life of co-pilot Michael Alsbury. Despite this setback, Virgin Galactic is already developing a test program for a replacement vehicle, and still hopes to begin tourist flights in 2016. With the setback of the crash behind it, […]

  • SpaceShipTwo: The Survival of a Pilot and an Industry

    Josh TallisNovember 17th, 2014

    Only days after the explosion of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket on Wallops Island, VA, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo experienced a catastrophic failure. The unlikely survival of a test pilot, and the tenacity of a company, provide a compelling narrative blending human interest and entrepreneurial drive.

  • SS2 disaster: Interview with Carolynne Campbell-Knight, rocket engineer

    Merryl AzrielNovember 13th, 2014

    In the aftermath of the SpaceShipTwo disaster that injured one pilot and took the life of another on Oct. 31, Carolynne Campbell-Knight was in great demand as media around the world struggled to understand the technology of this suborbital plane, itself powered by a hybrid engine. But Campbell-Knight doesn’t work in the aerospace industry and […]

  • NTSB: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo’s feather system deployed early

    Jason RhianNovember 3rd, 2014

    A report issued by the National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) has stated that the two tail stabilizers conducted what is known as “feathering” – far earlier than scheduled during Friday’s powered test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. The announcement came two days after the accident on Sunday, Nov. 2. The fact that the system, pioneered by the private […]

  • Richard Branson arrives at SpaceShipTwo crash site, investigation underway

    Tomasz NowakowskiNovember 1st, 2014

    Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, after arriving at the SpaceShipTwo in Mojave Desert, California on Saturday, acknowledged that his dream of commercial space tourism may have ended in the explosion that consumed Virgin Galactic’s test craft, but the company will learn from the mistakes and continue its mission to send people into space.

  • Sierra Nevada issues statement in wake of SS2 disaster

    Jason RhianOctober 31st, 2014

    Colorado-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, a one-time contributor to Scaled Composites’ first thee powered test flights of SpaceShipTwo, has issued the following statement regarding the loss of the spacecraft. SpaceShipTwo was lost shortly after separating from its carrier WhiteKnight Two aircraft on Oct. 31, 2014:

  • SpaceShipTwo crashes in Mojave Desert, one pilot reported killed – UPDATE

    J.D. TaylorOctober 31st, 2014

    During a 12:19 p.m. EDT (16:19 GMT) powered test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, the spacecraft encountered an in-flight anomaly and crashed into the Mojave Desert, according to a report appearing on Kern Golden The company referred to the loss of the spacecraft as a “serious anomaly” – which resulted in the loss of the spacecraft. […]

  • Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo completes another test flight

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 9th, 2014

    Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, the vehicle designed to take space tourists into sub-orbit from Spaceport New Mexico — made another successful test flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif. The Tuesday morning flight was covered by multiple news and space-related websites including NBC News and UPI reported. Virgin Galactic’s Twitter account said […]

  • First flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo delayed again

    Jason RhianSeptember 13th, 2014

    ABC News is reporting that space-tourism company Virgin Galactic has announced that the first flight of their commercial space tourism venture – has slipped to next year. Previously, the company’s owner, British billionaire Richard Branson, had given a number of dates as to when the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo duo would begin ferrying paying customers into […]