SpaceShipOne, the suborbital spacecraft developed by Burt Rutan’s company, Scaled Composites, performed its second powered test flight on Thursday. The vehicle reached a maximum speed of Mach 2 and a peak altitude of over 30 kilometers during the flight, which ended in a successful landing at the Mojave, California orbit. SpaceShipOne is still a long way from space–the X Prize, for which Rutan is competing, requires vehicles to make it to 100 km, and do it again within two weeks–but the successful flight suggests that Rutan is well on the way towards reaching that milestone. Indeed, MSNBC reports that an announcement of Rutan’s schedule of test flights is expected later this month
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