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Virgin Galactic Powers Up New SpaceShipTwo Vehicle (Video)

Virgin Galactic Powers Up New SpaceShipTwo Vehicle (Video)

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

The lights just went on inside Virgin Galactic’s next spaceliner.

The Spaceship Co., Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing subsidiary, recently wrapped up a landmark “Power On” test of the third SpaceShipTwo vehicle, which is being assembled in Mojave, California.

“This test verified the foundation of the electrical system of the new spaceship and means we can start verification of the onboard electrical subsystems in preparation for its first flight,” The Spaceship Co. said via Twitter yesterday (Oct. 21).

Related: How Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Works (Infographic)

The six-passenger SpaceShipTwo is designed to carry paying customers and scientific payloads on brief trips to suborbital space. The winged vehicle is carried to an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters) by a plane known as WhiteKnightTwo. At that point, SpaceShipTwo drops free and fires its onboard rocket motor, which carries the vehicle up to space.

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