On September 8 2016, Virgin Galactic‘s SpaceShipTwo also known as VSS Unity went for a test flight for the very first time. The entire test took 3 hours and 43 minutes and a lot of usefull data was collected.
The test flight was a so called ‘captive carry’ flight, during which VSS Unity remained attached to the WhiteKnightTwo for the entire flight from takeoff to landing. This way the Virgin Galactic team tested airflow around VSS Unity while simultaneously testing how the spaceship performs when exposed to the frigid temperatures found at an altitude of 50,000+ feet.
According to the team a “mountain of flight data” was collected, helping to make the next flight tests even more efficient, effective, and safe. Once the analysis is done the team will be ready to move into the next phase of test flight.