We’d learned enough from our past test flights to safely take the next step forward in our thorough test flight program. That step happened on a successful test flight conducted this morning from the Mojave Air and Space Port, during which we tested VSS Unity’s ‘feather’ re-entry system in flight for the first time.
This test follows after extensive testing of the feather system on the ground.
Full analysis of the data from today’s flight will, as always, take time; but initial reports from the pilots and from mission control are extremely encouraging.
VSS Unity was piloted today by Mark Stucky and Mike Masucci, with pilots Nicola Pecile and CJ Sturckow as well as flight test engineer Dustin Mosher in WhiteKnightTwo. Today’s test flight was the fourth glide flight (and eight flight overall) of VSS Unity, and the 227th flight of WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve.
VSS Unity glides home after her first feather flight on 1st May 2017
Once data reviews are complete, we will move forward with our testing program—pressing onward with additional glide flights designed to expand our envelope of flight weights and centers of gravity.
Source: Virgin Galactic
Date: May 1, 2017