‘SpaceShipTwo’ Successfully Test Flown

Virgin Galactic has successfully test-flown its new spaceship, two years after a pilot was killed in one of its flight tests.

The flight, which took off from and landed back at an air and space port in California lasted nearly four hours over the Mojave desert while reaching a maximum altitude of around 15,000 metres.

The SpaceshipTwo craft, or the VSS Unity, stayed attached to its carrier, WhiteKnightTwo aircraft, for the entire flight.

The six-passenger, two-pilot winged space plane has been designed to take passengers on five-minute voyages into suborbital space.

The flight was operated by four test pilots — two in SpaceShipTwo and two were on the carrier.

It has been two years since the original SpaceShipTwo was destroyed in 2014 during a deadly test flight that killed one of its two pilots and seriously injured the other.