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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space plane soared into the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere Thursday for a milestone test flight. It indicates the company is not far off from sending tourists to space.

The rocket-powered plane, VSS Unity, was flown by two veteran pilots to a maximum altitude of 51.4 miles, surpassing the 50-mile mark that the US government recognizes as the edge of space. It uses the 50-mile mark to award astronaut wings.
The test flight took off from the Mojave Air & Space Port in California at 7:11 am PT.
Just after 8:00 am PT, VSS Unity detached from the mothership and lit its rocket engine, swooping directly upward.
"We made it to space," Enrico Palermo, president of The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic's manufacturing partner, told a crowd of cheering spectators gathered at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California.
A visibly emotional Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic's founder, told reporters after the flight that it meant "myself and thousands of other people like me" could soon see space for themselves.
"We saw our biggest dream and our toughest challenge to date fulfilled. How on Earth do I describe the feeling?" he said. "Today for the first time in history, a crewed spaceship built to carry private passengers reached space."
A jet carrying Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship took off for space Thursday.
A jet carrying Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship took off for space Thursday.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/tech/virgin-galactic-reaches-50-mile-space/index.html
 
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