This past week on 26 June, Virgin Galactic conducted the first glide test of SpaceShipTwo since completing a recent integration of rocket motor systems, as well as maintenance.
On the same day, RocketMotorTwo (RM2) completed a full 55 second test firing by Sierra Nevada Space Systems, the prime contractor for the engine. In addition, on 20 June, a full-scale RM2 test firing took place for the first time at Scaled Composites’ test site in Mojave, California, under full direction of the spaceship’s Rocket Motor Controller.
In May, Virgin Galactic received an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration for SpaceShipTwo and its carrier vehicle, WhiteKnightTwo. Since then, there have been seven test flights, and three full scale rocket motor firings.
Virgin Galactic expects to reach powered flight by the end of the year.