Earlier this month, Virgin Chairman Richard Branson announced at the launch of Virgin America's new route through Newark that his other flying endeavor would be hitting a huge milestone this month: Its first rocket-powered test flight.
From the looks of Virgin Galactic and Branson's Twitter feeds this morning, it looks like that time has come.
Occasionally you have days that are ridiculously exciting. Today is such a day.? richardbranson (@richardbranson) April 29, 2013
Planning something truly momentous with @virgingalactic today - watch this space? richardbranson (@richardbranson) April 29, 2013
SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo are on the runway this morning for another exciting test flight! Stay tuned for photos & live status updates? Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 29, 2013
In late February, Virgin successfully tested
While neither account has specified that this test is, in fact, of the rocket-powered variety, Galactic PR did confirm to me earlier this month that the test would take place before the end of the month and, well, it's the end of the month. Not to mention all the buzz on Twitter from various Virgin groups and notable individuals, I think it's safe to say that this is the day the whole team at Galactic and space traveling enthusiasts have been looking forward to for some time.
WhiteKnightTwo & SpaceShipTwo just took off. WK2?s 115th flight, SS2?s 26th. Stay tuned for updates. Stucky & Alsbury flying SS2.? Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 29, 2013
Looks like SS2 has been released but still no mention of a rocket being fired.
SS2?s pilots have just given the ?release? command, and SpaceShipTwo is now flying freely for the 26th time. Photos and more details to come? Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 29, 2013
Scratch that. Here we go!
For the 1st time ever, SS2 has lit her rocket engine in flight! A major milestone in human spaceflight. Photos, video, and details to follow? Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) April 29, 2013