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First glide flight of VSS Unity

Piloted by Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay

Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) touches down after flying freely for the first time after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve (VMS Eve) on 3rd, December 2016 in the Mojave Desert.

Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) touches down after flying freely for the first time after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve (VMS Eve) on 3rd, December 2016 in the Mojave Desert

Virgin Galactic has flown its new Virgin Spaceship called VSS Unity in a glide for the first time, piloted by Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay.

Over the course of the 1 hour 20 minute flight Virgin Galactic’s pilots, mission controllers and ground crew collected valuable data that will help them move the program forward.

For this first gliding test flight, VSS Unity was flying slow, achieving a maximum speed of approximately Mach 0.6 while gliding home from an altitude of 50,000 feet.

To help you work out which vehicle is what, the smaller one SpaceShipTwo (VSS Unity) and the carrier vehicle is called WhiteKnightTwo (also known as VMS Eve).

Virgin’s Galactic’s manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, is now currently building additional SpaceShipTwo vehicles showing the firm’s appetite to bring the program to market.

www.virgingalactic.com/human-spaceflight/our-vehicles/

About the author: Dan Tye

Dan came up with the idea for Adventure 52 after meeting so many like-minded people who love all kinds of adventure activities. He started out as pilot in the RAF, has worked as a ski instructor and has spent the past 12 years as an editor and journalist for motorcycling, aviation and adventure magazines.