Virgin Galactic test flight proves a success
Richard Branson's fledgling space tourism firm is back on track following a fatal crash two years ago.
Ten months after its unveiling at a high-profile press event earlier this year, the new SpaceShipTwo 'VSS Unity' has been seen soaring high above the Mojave Desert as part of a successful test flight which saw it glide for around ten minutes before landing safely on the tarmac.
It was lifted in to the air by its companion carrier WhiteKnightTwo which also landed successfully.
The private space firm is likely to be breathing a sigh of relief after two years of uncertainty following the crash of its original SpaceShipTwo in October 2014 which resulted in the death of a pilot.
The space plane was destroyed after its unique 'feathering' system deployed prematurely.
With its successor now in full working order, the firm has stated that it will be initiating commercial space tourism operations from its New Mexico spaceport "once it believes it is safe to do so."
When that happens it will be the first service of its kind anywhere in the world.