Virgin Spaceship Flies for Three Hours Attached to Carrier Plane

At of the end of last week, a little facility in the middle of the New Mexico desert was the place to be for space exploration enthusiasts, as an actual spaceship made its way to the Virgin Galactic location known as Spaceport America.
VSS Unity reaches Spaceport America 1 photo
Photo: Virgin Galactic
The spaceship, advertised to the world as VSS Unity, did not drop down from the heavens as you would expect a functioning space machine to do, but was carried on location, all the way from the Mojave desert in California.

The spaceship moved from Cali to New Mexico as part of Virgin’s plan to relocate operations to the place considered to be the “the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport.”

Just as it did when it went for space at the end of 2018, VSS Unity was hooked up to the underbelly of the Virgin Mothership (VMS) Eve, a double-fuselage airplane designed specifically for this task.

For the entire duration of the flight, which according to Virgin lasted for more than three hours, Unity remained attached to Eve, but it was not empty. Two pilots were in the cockpit, trying to make the most of the trip and evaluate the spacecraft in high altitude and cold temperatures conditions.

As for Spaceport America, it is to become the place from where private space tourists will take off on a regular basis in the not-so-distant future. Virgin nearly completed the work on the facility in May 2019, and has already begun moving staff and hardware there.

Now that the Unity is on location as well (New Mexico will be the home base for the ship, but trips to Mojave will continue to be made), the space company will begin a series of other captive tests, then will move on to glide flights and eventually rocket-powered flights.

“Today marks another step closer: We will have a genuine Space Valley in Southern New Mexico, a hotbed of innovation and achievement and space tourism development. I congratulate Virgin Galactic’s workers, George Whitesides and Sir Richard Branson on today’s successful flight – and once again I say to them: Welcome to New Mexico, we’re very glad to have you!” said in a statement New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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