Virgin Galactic, best known for making me chuckle every time I hear it because I'm seven and refuse to grow up (I buy black market fairy dust from this geezer named Tootles), successfully tested their suborbital spaceship over the weekend. Just not in space. Baby steps, yo! Haven't you seen What About Bob?
On Sunday, the Enterprise was carried to an altitude of 45,000 feet by a larger "mothership," and was then successfully released for a long, slow glide back to the Mojave Air and Space Port. The solo test flight is a step towards the day when the Enterprise will carry not only test pilots but also six space tourists up to the edge of space, where they'll experience a few precious moments of weightlessness and a killer view.
When it eventually enters service, Enterprise will be carried to its launch altitude by the "Eve" carrier plane before being released in mid-air. Enterprise will then ignite its single hybrid rocket engine to make the ascent to space. Although Eve and Enterprise have made several test flights together, Sunday was the first time the spaceplane had been released at altitude.
A seat on the Enterprise will cost $200,000, and apparently people are willing to pay up: Virgin Galactic has reportedly taken deposits from 370 customers thus far.
Holy guacamole/con queso that's an expensive-ass flight. Please tell me each ticket come with a mile-high HJ. Haha, what do you mean, "space is way higher than a mile"? YOU'RE WAY HIGHER THAN A MILE AND I'M GONNA TELL YOUR MOM! Ooooor watch her do the dishes through the kitchen window and play with myself.
Hit the jump for two more shots of the high-flying action.
Thanks to Mr. Sausage, an important part of a balanced