Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise (SpaceShipTwo), named after Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, successfully reached the stratosphere in a test flight. The VSS Enterprise is carried by a mothership, the WhiteKnightTwo (VMS Eve) and on this test flight, remained attached to the VMS Eve.
As with previous flights, however, SpaceShipTwo remained attached to the VMS Eve mothership for the duration of the flight, but it did stay aloft for more than six hours as the crew (including test pilots Peter Siebold and Michael Alsbury) went through a range of tests. The spacecrafts were successfully in flight for 6 hours and 12 minutes in total.
When tests are complete and the first flight launches, the VMS Eve will carry the VSS Enterprise to its launch altitude of 50,000 feet, to the edge of the atmosphere, and back again. The two-and-a-half hour trips, up and down flights that won’t orbit the earth, will include about five minutes of weightlessness.