Virgin Galactic prepares first manned test flight into space

Virgin Galactic said it plans to launch its first manned test flight into space from New Mexico this month.

The VSS Unity spacecraft has conducted two previous test flights from Mojave, California, before returning to Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The tests included gliding flights without an engine. The new space flight is scheduled for November 19-23.

The spaceport will be Virgin Galactic’s base to send passengers on short trips high above Earth, starting with billionaire founder Richard Branson next year. The company does not specify the exact date of this event.

Unity rises under a special jet and reaches a great height, where its rocket engine is ignited.

Suborbital flights involve sending the vehicle to an altitude of at least 80 km. At the end of the flight, the vehicle will descend and land.

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