Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo First Feather Flight

Watch the exclusive footage of SpaceShipTwo’s first feather flight. In this video, the space ship is dropping nearly vertically from its mother ship in a test flight that took place on Wednesday, 4 May 2011 over Mojave Desert, CA. SpaceShipTwo is the world’s first commercial spaceship.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo

This test flight examines one of the most dangerous aspects of space flight: the spaceship’s capability of determining a safe way to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere from the space. During the test flight, SpaceShipTwo deploys its feather configuration to re-enter into Earth’s atmosphere by rotating its tail section upwards to a 65 degree angle, creating drag that slows down, and stabilizes, the aircraft. The feather configuration takes inspiration from the shuttlecock.

The result of this test brings Virgin Galactic a step closer to taking tourists into outer space. The company hopes to launch the flight in 2012, but no specific date has been set. Nevertheless, more than 400 people have signed up for Virgin Galactic’s space tour package. Space flight tickets cost US$200,000 and deposits start from US$20,000. If you are interested, you can click here to book.

Let’s hope space travel will soon become a reality!

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