— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 21, 2016
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM (NMSA PR) — Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America Operations teams welcomed WhiteKnightTwo back to the clear blue skies of New Mexico on Monday.
Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo was put through the paces this week as the pilots, ground and mission control crewmembers performed numerous ground and air exercises in preparation for future commercial space flights.
Yesterday, Virgin Galactic simulated all elements of a mission including rollout of the vehicle, flight preparation, take off and release from high altitude. After the simulated release, WhiteKnightTwo flew a simulated spaceship return profile and then performed several practice touch and goes before landing.
“Preparing the commercial operations crew and WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve at Spaceport America is an important milestone on the road to commercial human spaceflight service. It was helpful to work alongside local air traffic controllers in New Mexico and to conduct exercises in New Mexico airspace. We look forward to returning to our future home at Spaceport America.” – George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic
“This is a very important step along the journey to the first flight of the Virgin Galactic commercial spaceline, You cannot over train or over exercise. Nothing is taken for granted.” – Christine Anderson, CEO, Spaceport America