Exclusive Pictures: Successful SpaceShipTwo Glide Test on Saturday Morning

WhiteKnightTwo flies overhead as SpaceShipTwo touches down at the Mojave Air and Space Port just before 8 a.m. on Saturday. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

SpaceShipTwo made another successful glide flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California on Saturday morning. The space plane took off under its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft at 6:57 a.m. PDT. It glided to a landing about an hour later after a brief glide flight. WhiteKnightTwo conducted touch-and-gos on the runway for about a half hour before touching down at around 8:27 a.m. PDT.

A young woman photographs SpaceShipTwo resting on the Mojave Air & Space Port runway after a successful landing Saturday morning. Employees of Scaled Composites and The Spaceship Company as well as local residents were on hand to watch the spaceship’s launch from WhiteKnightTwo. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

This test marked the 93rd flight for WhiteKnightTwo and the 22nd glide flight for SpaceShipTwo.

Conditions at the spaceport were smoky due to a wildfire in the nearby mountains that began burning on Friday afternoon. This partly accounts for the different colors of the sky in photos of the drop test.

More images below. Thanks to all my friends for contributing the photos.

WhiteKnightTwo’s dual contrails in the skies over the Mojave on Aug. 11. (Credit: John Griffith)
WhiteKnightTwo streaks skyward prior to releasing SpaceShipTwo for a drop test on Aug. 11. (Credit: David Valentine)
SpaceShipTwo (bottom left) on a glide flight after being dropped from WhiteKnightTwo on Aug. 11. (Credit: John Griffith)
SpaceShipTwo glides to a landing over the Mojave on Aug. 11. (Credit: John Griffith)
A great shot of SpaceShipTwo from below during a glide flight on Aug. 11. (Credit: John Griffith)
WhiteKnightTwo descends as it flies chase for SpaceShipTwo during a drop test on Aug. 11, 2012.