Virgin Atlantic has tested the return capabilities of their SpaceShipTwo spacecraft for the first time. The video of its first feathered flight is just too beautiful and elegant too describe. Just watch it:
The test was conducted at the Mojave Desert, in California. WhiteKnightTwo lifted the suborbital spacecraft to the skies and then released it. SpaceShipTwo then fired its rocket, shutting it down afterwards. Then it started its feathered descent manoeuvre, demonstrating that Burt Rutan’s shuttlecock technology works perfectly. Such a simple design, yet so effective. This is exactly why I love aircrafts and engineering.
The 27-foot wingspan ship—which has a cabin of just 12 feet (3.66 meters) long by 7.5 feet (2.28 meter) in diameter—will take six people to space for $US200,000 a head when it’s operative.