Al Marsh

SpaceShipTwo passes critical folding test

May 19, 2011 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Virgin Galactic, which has enticed 430 customers to take a suborbital ride into space, has passed a critical wing-folding drop test of SpaceShipTwo. The aircraft returns from altitude by raising its twin boom tail, creating not only drag but a stable return position in the nearly airless environment. The test proves the spaceship’s design, and now it’s on to preparations for the first commercial flight. Watch the test here.

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