Video: Richard Branson Addresses Crowd Before SpaceShipTwo Glide Flight

Sir Richard Branson ventured out to Mojave Air & Space Port in California for the first glide flight of Virgin Gaalctic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity on Saturday, Dec. 3.

He addressed a crowd of a couple of hundred Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company employees who had gathered near the base of the Mojave control tower to witness the test.

It was the first flight of a SpaceShipTwo vehicle since the first spacecraft Enterprise was destroyed during a powered flight test on Halloween 2014. Unity will undergo a series of glide flights in the months ahead before powered flights begin sometime in 2017.

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  • Hemingway

    Doug – New Mexico taxpayers will probably pay millions in the future to support Spaceport America. When do you see SpaceShipTwo Unity finally flying?

  • Jacob Samorodin

    The NM Governor at the time spent millions building it years ago. I don’t disparage putting scores of NM construction workers to work in need of paychecks; but that was then. Since then the facility has served…what purpose?

  • Douglas Messier

    They probably have five to six months of glide tests ahead before they start powered flights. That’s assuming everything goes well and they don’t discover any significant problems in the vehicle. How long powered flights take depends upon how many they do, how they pace them, and what issues they discover during that phase of flight test.

    I would say sometime in 2018 is probably a safe guess. I’d be surprised if they started commercial flights prior to that, but you never know.

  • Vladislaw

    So who will launch a crew first on a suborbital flight, Blue Origin or Virgin Galatic?

  • Stu

    Money has to be on Blue Origin, surely.

  • Geoff T

    I think at this point Blue Origin have this. Several successful flights above 100km, a working escape system, proven ground operations. Virgin have none of that yet.

  • windbourne

    to 100 km, or is less considered ok?