Flight Debut made by Virgin’s Spacecraft
The first test flight of the commercial manned spaceship, dubbed Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise spaceship, made by Virgin Galactic, took place on Monday morning at the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California.
It should be noted that Virgin Galactic is the space tourism arm of Richard Branson's Virgin Group in which Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments has a 32 percent stake.
It was on 7th December 2009 when the manned spaceship was showed to public and it's made a test flight lasting 2 hours 54 minutes flight and achieved an altitude of 45,000ft (13716 metres).
It is the Scaled Composites, who is developing the aircraft and has also won the $10m contract in 2004 to develop the world's first privately developed manned spacecraft
The design of the vehicle enables it to carry six passengers on sub-orbital space flights. These passengers then will be able to take part in an out-of-the-seat zero gravity experience.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic said, "Seeing the finished spaceship in December was a major day for us but watching VSS Enterprise fly for the first time really brings home what beautiful, ground-breaking vehicles the team has developed for us."
The company made specified for the VSS Enterprise test flight programme to continue through 2010 and 2011.
Till now, Virgin Galactic has gathered a sum of $45m in deposits for spaceflight reservations from over 330 people worldwide. These also include physicist Stephen Hawkins and ex-racing driver Niki Lauda and around 20 from the Gulf region.
A 32 percent stake worth $280m was sold last year in July by Virgin Galactic to Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments, estimating the company at $900m.
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