Spaceship makes 1st flight strapped to mothership

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

March 22, 2010

MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) -- Virgin Galactic's new space tourism rocket has been taken aloft over the California desert by a mothership aircraft on its first so-called captive-carry test flight.

Virgin Galactic says in a statement on its Web site that Monday's flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port was successful.

The spaceship remained attached to the specially designed jet-powered mothership throughout the flight.

In the future, the spaceship will be launched from the larger aircraft, fire its rocket and carry passengers on a suborbital thrill ride into space before gliding to a landing -- for about $200,000 a ticket.

It's the second generation of the Burt Rutan-designed system that sent the first privately developed, manned rocket into space in 2004.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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