EUROPE & CIS: Virgin spaceship makes ‘captive carry’ flight

Virgin Galactic, the world’s first space tourist company, announced that its commercial manned spaceship, VSS Enterprise, made its first ‘captive carry’ test flight on 22 March from Mojave Air and Spaceport in California. The Enterprise remained attached to the unique ‘WhiteKnightTwo’ carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, for the nearly threehour flight, achieving an altitude of 45,000ft […]


Virgin Galactic, the world’s first space tourist company, announced that its commercial manned spaceship, VSS Enterprise, made its first ‘captive carry’ test flight on 22 March from Mojave Air and Spaceport in California.

The Enterprise remained attached to the unique ‘WhiteKnightTwo’ carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, for the nearly threehour flight, achieving an altitude of 45,000ft (13,700 metres).

The test flight programme will continue through 2011, progressing from ‘captive carry’ to independent glide and then powered flight, prior to the start of commercial operations. Virgin Galactic claims it has already taken around US$45 million in deposits for spaceflight reservations from over 330 people.