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VSS Enterprise Completes First Captive Carry Flight

VSS Enterprise Complete's First Captive Carry Flight

It's really interesting that private space flight has become a reality.  With the X prize win in 2004, Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites have paved the way for the "everyman" to experience the thrill of spaceflight.  With the founding of Virgin Galactic Sir Richard Branson joined forces with Rutan to provide the first commercial spaceflight system to take tourists into a sub-orbital flight.

We reported back in December of last year that the unveiling of SpaceShipTwo also revealed the name change to the VSS Enterprise, to the delight of Trek fans everywhere.  We're happy to report that the first captive carry flight of the enterpise is complete and was total success.  Next step, glide test and powered, which is to be completed within the next 2 years.

Virgin Galactic announced today that VSS Enterprise has completed her inaugural captive carry flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport.

This very first captive carry was a huge success and both the mothership and spaceship looked absolutely stunning against the blue back drop of the Mojave skies.

Commenting on the historic flight, Burt Rutan said: “This is a momentous day for the Scaled and Virgin Teams. The captive carry flight signifies the start of what we believe will be extremely exciting and successful spaceship flight test program.”

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic added: “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 Burt and his team have developed for us. It comes as no surprise that the flight went so well; the Scaled team is uniquely qualified to bring this important and incredible dream to reality. Today was another major step along that road and a testament to US engineering and innovation.”

The VSS Enterprise test flight program will continue though 2010 and 2011, progressing from captive carry to independent glide and then powered flight, prior to the start of commercial operations.  (source

Watch the captive carry test flight below.

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