Virgin Galactic Resumes Testing for Space Tourism Program

 PHOTO: SpaceShuttleTwo (courtesy Virgin Galactic/Twitter) 


Virgin Galactic is firing up it’s space tourism program once again. The Los Angeles Times reports that the operation was once again under way after one of two test pilots was killed in a 2014 crash. 

“The test for the new SpaceShipTwo, dubbed VSS Unity at its unveiling in February, was what the Long Beach aerospace startup calls a “captive carry,” in which the spaceship stays attached to its carrier WhiteKnightTwo aircraft for the entire flight,” reports Samantha Masunaga for the Los Angeles Times. 

The mission was to gather aerodynamic data and to test aircraft functions as well as test various abort modes to increase safety.  

“SpaceShipTwo eventually will be in the business of carrying tourists who have paid up to $250,000 into space,” notes the Los Angeles Times. 

The first SpaceShipTwo flew 54 times before the accident says the times, and it “provided an “enormous volume” of data to incorporate safety improvements into the new craft.”

 READ MORE: Virgin Galactic Gets a License for Its Rocket Ship   

The new SpaceShipTwo was constructed by Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing arm, Spaceship Co.

For more on Virgin’s quest for space tourism, go here