Virgin Galactic have successfully launched their third rocket-powered flight with their unity spacecraft.
The most recent test pushed the vehicle faster and higher than ever reached before, as the rocket reached a peak altitude of 170,800 feet, and entered the mesosphere for the first time.
The mesosphere, also known as the ignorosphere, is an under-studied atmosphere layer, and sits above the Earth's stratosphere and the thermosphere.
The VSS Unity broke Mach 2, after a clean release with pilots Dave Mackay and Mike ‘Sooch’ Masucci.
Richard Branson’s space company is now one test closer to taking their first passengers into space, as the latest test fired the rocket's engine for 11 seconds longer than their previous test.
The company returned to rocket-power testing in April, after its 2014 failure, when a pilot was killed in a crash.
Virgin Galactic’s goal is for Unity to reach 264,000 feet; at that height, their passengers would experience weightlessness while still seeing the curvature of the earth from the VSS windows.
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