I am sure by now everyone knows about Virgin Atlantic's plans, working with Burt Rutan, to offer passenger flights into near Earth space. For those with the dough this is a great, but short, ride. Myself, for one, am not interested in strapping myself into one of these vehicles for a couple of minutes in space, but heck I don't have the jack for it either. However, development of the program continues, but along the way on June 30th of this year White Knight Two, the lift craft, suffered an speedbrake actuator problem during a flight to make a low pass at the opening ceremony for Spaceport America in New Mexico.
The craft landed safely at Williams Gateway Airport near Phoenix, AZ where repairs were made and the following day were able to make a series of flybys and low pases down the runway for the Spaceport America event. So far the aircraft has achieved an altitude of just over 52,000 feet and has flown as long as 7 1/2 hours. White Knight Two is the aircraft that will carry the Space Ship Two vehicle for launch above 50,000 feet to take passengers to the edge of space. Spaceline Virgin Galactic is scheduled to begin commercial flights by the year 2012. Spaceport America is due to open in early 2011, and is located near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Anyone got an airsick bag? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your Eyes Turned Skyward , for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."