Awesome Images From the Flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo take off at 7:11 a.m. PST from the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port.

SpaceShipTwo fires its hybrid engine. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

SpaceShipTwo is dropped and fires its engine.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo’s first flight above 50 miles on Dec. 13, 2018. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

A closeup of SpaceShipTwo in powered flight.

The curvature of the Earth from SpaceShipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

C.J. Sturckow and Mark Stucky got some great views of the Earth.

A view from inside the cockpit. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

SpaceShipTwo has a lot of windows.

A view from SpacehipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

The pilots could see the curvature of our planet from 51.4 miles.

SpaceShipTwo lands after a successful flight test. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

SpaceShipTwo touches down on Ruway 12-30.

SpaceShipTwo’s two pilots after landing. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

The pilots after landing.

Richard Branson with the pilots of SpaceShipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Richard Branson celebrates with the pilots.

  • windbourne

    Nice pix. Great to see that they are flying.
    U know, somewhere down the road, I hope ISS captures a shot of that from space.

  • Arthur Hamilton

    Technically, they are the first to fly a manned vehicle towards a sub-orbital trajectory from U.S. soil. Congratulations!!!!

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    Congrats to them, long road.
    Great pics, wonder if they will be able to do a longer burn in the future, to get a bit higher…

  • savuporo

    Alan Bartlett Shepard would like a word

  • Robert G. Oler

    well done safe flights

  • Jacob Samorodin

    The ghost of Doctor Theodore Karman is gnashing his teeth at the precise altitude of 100km. You can almost read his ghostly lips saying, “100 kilometers altitude exactly must be attained to reach the cosmic realm, and not one micrometer less.” OK, I’m not much on satire, but arguments about where ‘space’ begins exactly are rather stupid….See how fast you stop breathing, blood starts boiling, and you lose consciousness without a pressure suit at say 79 km.

  • windbourne

    first private.

  • ThomasLMatula

    You know those pictures would look good on a calendar. Might be another way to generate some revenue.

  • windbourne

    great idea.
    Doug has had other Pix that would work great as well.

  • Robert G. Oler

    the views people are going to pay a lot of money for

  • BeanCounterFromDownUnder

    Not just the views!

  • BeanCounterFromDownUnder

    Yes, looked very smooth. Does look like they’re finally getting there.

  • Robert G. Oler

    absent a disaster again they are in my view going to make a lot of cash from this…

  • duheagle

    What they’re not likely to have any time soon, though, is a positive return on investment. Even if SS2 can be made to work technically, it has cost more to develop by a factor of at least three or four than SpaceX spent to develop Falcon 9.

  • redneck

    I’ll put up dinner at even odds that they fly no paying passengers in 2019. That’s if nothing goes wrong. Another major problem and their business model will be overtaken by events before they can recover.

  • Robert G. Oler


  • duheagle

    Straight from the horse’s mouth. Last three paragraphs of this story in Space News.

  • duheagle

    Another major problem – especially soon – and VG and TSC are probably toast. Even with the apparent success of this latest flight it’s hard to estimate how likely such a major failure still remains. If the rest of the test program provides no fresh drama, though, I could see commercial service starting as soon as mid-year 2019.

  • Robert G. Oler

    I am not sure what you view as amazing in the article…1 billion is “about right” for that complexity of vehicle. SpaceX has spent about 5 billion for F9 total so far. NASA paid a large chunk of it

  • redneck

    I’m going to try to get to Space Access next year. Should have a better estimate by then.