Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Virgin Galactic

  • VSS Unity conducts first powered flight

    Jason RhianApril 5th, 2018

    The SpaceShip Company, using its VSS Unity spacecraft, successfully completed the vehicle's first supersonic, rocket-powered test flight on Thursday, April 5. Piloted by Mark “Forger” Stucky and Dave Mackay, today's flight marked the first flight since the October 31, 2014 accident that saw the loss of the VSS Enterprise.

  • SpaceShipTwo conducts successful test flight

    Paul KnightlyJanuary 13th, 2018

    Virgin Galactic conducted a successful test flight of the SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 11. The high-speed glide test marks the seventh for VSS Unity, which reached a top speed of Mach 0.9 during the flight.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: SpaceShipOne, Government Zero – 13 years later

    Jason RhianJune 21st, 2017

    It was a heady time for the emerging NewSpace movement, Scaled Composites had sent Mike Melvill in SpaceShipOne on flight 15P up 62 miles into space. This set the stage for them to win the Ansari X-PRIZE and from there send the first tourists on suborbital hops. Or, so they hoped. Thirteen years later, the follow-on vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, has yet to send a single tourist to sub-orbit.

  • Virgin Galactic VSS Unity passes feather test

    Bart LeahyMay 2nd, 2017

    After successfully completing three glide-and-land tests at Mojave Air and Spaceport, Virgin Galactic conducted its first test of the “feather” mechanism on its second SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital tourism spacecraft.

  • Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo successfully completes first glide flight

    Curt GodwinDecember 4th, 2016

    Fresh off the completion of its successful captive carry flight just a few days prior, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo (SS2), christened VSS Unity, took the next step in its flight certification regime by completing its first solo glide flight on Dec. 3, 2016.

  • Virgin Galactic conducts captive carry flight of SpaceShipTwo

    Jim SharkeyDecember 1st, 2016

    On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Virgin Galactic conducted the fourth test flight of its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane VSS Unity. The carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve, took off with VSS Unity from the runway of Mojave Air and Spaceport at 2:07 p.m. PST (22:07 GMT).

  • Video: The first captive carry test of VSS Unity

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 23rd, 2016

    Virgin Galactic recently released a video discussing the path traveled in getting VSS Unity ready for flight testing. This video, titled "Elevating Unity – Episode 1: Captive Carry", showcases The Spaceship Company and Virgin Galactic preparing for and conducting the first captive carry test the vehicle.

  • Virgin Galactic’s Unity makes successful test run

    Larry KlaesSeptember 9th, 2016

    Virgin Galactic, the commercial space wing of Virgin Group, Ltd., has begun its recovery from a fatal flight accident, nearly two years ago, with the successful first test flight of its newest SpaceShipTwo class spaceplane, the Virgin Space Ship (VSS) Unity, on Thursday, Sept. 8, above the Mojave Desert in California.

  • 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.

  • Biggest commercial rocket deal in history signed by OneWeb, Arianespace and Virgin Galactic

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 7th, 2015

    OneWeb, a UK company building a new global satellite-based internet network could become the driving force of future big commercial rocket launches that would boost space industry growth in many countries. Last week’s deal signed by OneWeb and aerospace giants Arianespace and Virgin Galactic stand to be one of the largest commercial launch contracts in history.

  • For Sale: Spaceport America?

    Jason RhianFebruary 22nd, 2015

    In 2011, at the upward arc of the NewSpace movement’s trajectory, much fanfare was made about New Mexico’s new spaceport, which would see private citizens travel into space on a regular basis. Dubbed “Spaceport America” it was touted as opening up the space frontier for average citizens; however, to date, no one has traveled to […]