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SpaceShipTwo AloftSpace: In Captive-Carry Flight - by Guy Norris

Scaled Composites has begun captive-carry flight testing of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) beneath the wing of the White Knight Two (WK2) launch aircraft with a flight out of Mojave, Calif., today.

The six-passenger, two-crew space vehicle was attached to the center of the 140-foot span wing section between the two fuselage booms of the WK2. The SS2 is carried on a special pylon, envelope clearance flights for which were completed in January. The WK2 eventually will carry the spacecraft to its launch point around 50,000 ft., though it is thought this altitude will not be attempted on the first flight still underway.

Until recently the 60 ft.-long space vehicle has traveled for short ground tests under the wing of WK2, but today’s flight marks the start of testing that will culminate in a series of glide tests to be conducted from various release altitudes.

For more: SpaceShipTwo Aloft In Captive-Carry Flight | AVIATION WEEK

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