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SpaceShipTwo Flies Again 22

schwit1 writes "The competition heats up: For the first time in six months SpaceShipTwo completed a test flight [Tuesday]." The article linked is from NBC, which also has a deal with Virgin Galactic to televise the first commercial flight. It is thus in their interest to promote the spacecraft and company. The following two sentences from the article however clearly confirm every rumor we have heard about the ship in the past year, that they needed to replace or completely refit the engine and that the resulting thrust might not be enough to get the ship to 100 kilometers or 62 miles: "In January, SpaceShipTwo blasted off for a powered test and sailed through a follow-up glide flight, but then it went into the shop for rocket refitting. It's expected to go through a series of glide flights and powered flights that eventually rise beyond the boundary of outer space (50 miles or 100 kilometers in altitude, depending on who's counting)." Hopefully this test flight indicates that they have installed the new engine and are now beginning flight tests with equipment that will actually get the ship into space.
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SpaceShipTwo Flies Again

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  • Glide test? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:59PM (#47571605) Homepage
    According to the linked article this was a glide test, not even a powered one. Given the fact that SpaceShipTwo (a bit of a hyperbolic name - RocketPlane would be more accurate) has flown dozens of times, some of those powered, I don't get the "news" aspect exactly. Is it that they had stopped for a few months and it is "news" that they resumed? Still how does that translate to "competition heats up"? And when we say "competition", which other recreational high altitude planes are we talking about and how are they doing?

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