Space tourism plane:Test flight takes off

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London, Dec 22: The space tourism plane, 'White Knight Two' has made its maiden test flight on Sunday, Dec 21. This carrier aircraft is designed to be the first stage of a commercial space line system.

'White Knight Two' is desinged by Scaled Composites. Carrier's mothership rolled down the runway of the Mojave Air and Space Port in California and muscled itself into the air using four Pratt and Whitney PW308A turbofan engines. It flew for about an hour, departing the runway at roughly 8:17 a m Pacific Standard Time, safely touching down at the Mojave Air and Space Port at approximately 9:17 a m PST (Pacific Standard Time).

'It's a big day, said Stuart Witt, general manager of Mojave Air and Space Port. "I think it's a real reflective time. When every body's looking for a bailout, there are still people who are doing something for a much larger reason," he told Space.com.

The hour-long test flight of White Knight Two made use of a minimum flight test crew. According to Dick Rutan, a witness to the flight, "It all went well. All the big things worked well. Overall, 99 percent on target and everybody is really happy. You get an airplane that's this weird and get it up and get it down, and it's safe on deck."

Ultimately, White Knight Two is to carry the space plane to altitude, where it will then detach and head for suborbital space flights. Wanna go to trip to space? The price tag per seat on the two pilot/six passenger suborbital Space Ship Two is 200,000 dollars !

ANI

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