FINAL EDIT: VMS Eve has landed safely. Thanks to our pilots Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci for flying the mothership today and their vital role in helping VSS Unity complete today’s spaceflight!
Twitter link for direct updates from Virgin Galactic team -> https://twitter.com/virgingalactic;
– Take off! VMS Eve and VSS Unity have taken to the skies above Spaceport America, New Mexico.
– VMS Eve is taking VSS Unity to a release altitude of 44,000ft. The climb to release will take approximately 60 minutes.
– VMS Eve and VSS Unity are now at 30,000 ft, nearly half-way to release altitude.
– Approximately 10 minutes from release, VSS Unity switches to its own battery power for avionics and control systems, and performs electrical, feather system and flight control checks.
– VSS Unity is in its launch configuration and pilots are readying the rocket motor system. Awaiting clearance for release from Mission Control.
– Release, release, release! VSS Unity has successfully separated from VMS Eve.
– VSS Unity’s rocket motor has been ignited by our pilots CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay.
– Rocket motor shutdown. Momentum will keep VSS Unity travelling upwards towards apogee.
– VSS Unity enters coast phase. Tail-booms raised into “feathered” re-entry position.
– VSS Unity, our two pilots and NASA_Technology supported experiments are now in space.
– VSS Unity reaches apogee.
– VSS Unity is descending back to Earth.
– The feather has been lowered and VSS Unity is now gliding smoothly back to the runway at Spaceport America.
A successful test flight + landing!
EDIT: – Touch down, VSS Unity. 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
EDIT2: Their smoke trail looks the same as their stock will do in the next week (had to insert this joke, sorry).
EDIT3: For people who were panicking on twitter due to motor shutdown – it's per procedures, it's what the motor HAS and HAD to do, everything is perfect.
Congrats to fellow bagholders, this was a fun one to watch! 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
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