Virgin Galactic Powers On

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VSS Unity firing its hybrid engine
VSS Unity firing its hybrid engine(Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic’s manned spaceplane has hit another milestone, breaking Mach 2 as it roared into the mesosphere. With test pilots Dave Mackay and Mike “Sooch” Masucci at the controls, VSS Unity was released from the mothership VMS Eve at an altitude of 46,500 ft (14,200 m) before firing its hybrid rocket engine for 42 seconds to power it to 170,800 ft (32.3 mi, 52 km) and a speed of Mach 2.47 (1,832 mph, 2,948 km/h).

The July 26 morning flight over the Mojave Air and Space Port is the third powered flight in four months of the Unity as Virgin Galactic ramps up to eventual commercial flights to carry passengers and payloads into space on suborbital trajectories before returning to land like a glider. It’s also the first flight of the experimental spaceplane to reach the lower reaches of the mesosphere – the region of the atmosphere above the stratosphere ranging from 31 to 62 mi (50 to 100 km).

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).