SpaceShipTwo Glides for Second Time this Week

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SpaceShipTwo glides to a landing during a test flight on June 26. (Credit: Virgin Galactic/Chris Van Pelt)

There was another glide test of the SpaceShipTwo vehicle today at the Mojave Air and Space Port. A source says that WhiteKnightTwo took off with the spacecraft beneath it at about 6:50 a.m. PDT. SpaceShipTwo landed about an hour later and both vehicles were back in the hangar by 8 a.m.

Writing about the flight on his blog, Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson said this was the first test flight with Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot Dave Mackay at the controls.

It was the second glide flight of SS2 this week. An earlier one took place on Tuesday. There are no flight summaries on the Scaled Composites website for today’s test, but they have posted summaries for the flight earlier in the week. Below is a combined version.

WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo Flight Summary
June 26, 2012

Flight: 87 / GF17
Date: 26 Jun 12
WK2 Flight Time: 1.8 hr
SS2 Flight Time: 11 min, 22 sec
WK2 Pilot: Stucky WK2 CoPilot: Mackay WK2 FTE: Morgan
SS2 Pilot: Siebold SS2 CoPilot: Alsbury
GS Crew: Tighe, Bassett, Knupp, Bourgeois, Glaser, Jaster, Bozarth, Cassebeer, M. Fuchs, Verderame, Nichols

WK2 Objectives:
SS2 release mission
GF crew mission practice

Results:

All objectives achieved.

SS Objectives:
SS2 control surface flutter data collection
SS2 aero stability and control validation
RCS airborne functional test
Speed brake check
Frequency sweeps without dampers

Results:
All objectives achieved. Great return to flight!