GO
Loading...

Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

SpaceShipTwo makes 2nd supersonic test flight

Flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert, Sept. 5, 2013 captured by MARS.
Source: MarsScientific.com and Clay Center Observatory
Flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert, Sept. 5, 2013 captured by MARS.

Virgin Galactic says it successfully conducted a second rocket-powered, supersonic test flight of the passenger spaceship it is developing.

The craft dubbed SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 69,000 feet over California's Mojave Desert early Thursday after it was dropped from a carrier aircraft and its rocket was ignited for a 20-second burn.

Two pilots and a flight test engineer were aboard as the craft reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.43, then glided to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port.

(Read more: Virgin America Opens LAX Lounge: Sorry, No Kids ...)

Both the altitude and speed exceeded marks set during the first rocket-powered flight last April.

Virgin Galactic plans to take paying passengers on suborbital flights that briefly enter space. The commercial spaceline is owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's aabar Investments PJS.

(Read more: Virgin's Branson Dons a Dress After Losing Bet)

Defense Contractors

  • Troublesome Liaisons of the Business World

    The business world has seen numerous individuals put their marriages, careers and good standing at risk for an extramarital dalliance. CNBC.com presents a list of people who went outside of their marriages for intimate relationships.

  • Petraeus Scandal Widens

    A top U.S. general in Afghanistan is now under investigation, with CNBC's Eamon Javers. Jeremy Kroll, K2 Intelligence, and Julian Sanchez, Cato Institute, also discuss cyber security.

  • Is the Defense Sector the New 'Girls Club?'

    CNBC's Jane Wells takes a look at the rise of women in companies that used to be dominated by men.