Another SpaceShipTwo Test Flight this Month?

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SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo circle over the Mojave Air and Space Port during a  successful glide flight on July 18, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo circle over the Mojave Air and Space Port during a successful glide flight on July 18, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

The Albuquerque Journal gets an update on SpaceShipTwo’s progress, including another test flight that is “expected” within the next two weeks:

“Our aspiration is to get to space by the end of the year,” said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “That depends on a lot of things happening before then, but that’s our goal.”

The company completed the first rocket-powered flight of its space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, on April 29 in the Mojave Desert. A second flight is expected this month as part of Virgin’s strategy to go higher and faster on each test run until reaching suborbit….

In the first flight, the ship successfully fired its rockets and accelerated to the speed of sound.

“We didn’t go tremendously high, because the first test was basically aimed at reaching supersonic speed,” Whitesides told the Journal . “In our next powered flight, the ship will burn a bit longer, and it will go a bit faster and a bit higher.”

“Sales ramped up after our first powered flight,” Whitesides said. “We’ve passed 610 paying customers. That’s $70 million in deposits in the bank.

Those reservations represent $122 million in advance ticket sales once passengers pay their full fare of $200,000 per person.

Read the full story.