The Latest: Tourism rocket ship reaches space on test flight

In this Jan. 11, 2018 photo provided by Virgin Galactic, the VSS Unity is released from the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft during a gliding test for SpaceShipTwo near Mojave, Calif. The spaceship isn’t launched from the ground but is carried beneath the special aircraft to an altitude around 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). There, it’s released before igniting its rocket engine and climbing. (Virgin Galactic via AP)
A jet carrying Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship has taken off from Mojave Air and Space Port on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 in Mojave, Calif. The jet will climb to an altitude near 43,000 feet and then release Virgin Space Ship Unity. The pilots hope to fly the rocket ship to an altitude exceeding 50 miles (80 kilometers), which Virgin Galactic considers the boundary of space. (AP Photo/John Antczak)
This May 29, 2018 photo provided by Virgin Galactic shows the VSS Unity craft during a supersonic flight test. The spaceship isn’t launched from the ground but is carried beneath a special aircraft to an altitude around 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). There, it’s released before igniting its rocket engine and climbing. (Virgin Galactic via AP)

MOJAVE, Calif. — The Latest on a test flight of Virgin Atlantic's space tourism rocket ship (all times local):

8 a.m.

Virgin Galactic says its tourism spaceship has climbed more than 50 miles high, which the company considers the boundary of space.

Virgin Space Ship Unity was released from a carrier aircraft over California's Mojave Desert early Thursday and ignited its rocket engine.

The spacecraft with two test pilots at the controls quickly hurtled upward and out of sight from viewers on the ground.

Mission official Enrico Palermo says it reached an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) before beginning its gliding descent. It landed minutes later.

The company plans to eventually take paying passengers on short trips to space.

7 a.m.

A jet carrying Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship has taken off from a California airport on a test flight.

The two pilots will attempt to launch the craft on a supersonic flight to the edge of space for the first time.

The mated jet and rocket ship lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday.

The jet will climb to an altitude near 43,000 feet and then release Virgin Space Ship Unity.

The pilots hope to fly the rocket ship to an altitude exceeding 50 miles (80 kilometers), which Virgin Galactic considers the boundary of space.

The company plans to eventually take paying passengers on short trips to space.

2:30 a.m.

A rocket ship set to launch from California's Mojave Desert could herald a giant step toward the long-awaited dream of space tourism for Virgin Galactic.

Two test pilots are scheduled to fly Virgin Space Ship Unity more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) into the sky Thursday morning from the company's spaceport in Mojave. They should get several minutes of weightlessness and a view of Earth.

Virgin Galactic considers that altitude to be the threshold of space because it's defined that way by the Air Force and other U.S. agencies, although others have long considered the boundary to be higher.

A successful flight will be significant progress toward the start of commercial flights that Virgin Galactic promised more than a decade ago.

Virgin Galactic's first experimental spacecraft broke apart during a 2014 test flight, killing the co-pilot.

People also read these

Amy Schumer opens book tour for essay collection

Aug 17, 2016

Actress and comedian Amy Schumer has launched the book tour for her collection of very personal...

Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk

Aug 17, 2016

Hawaii authorities are urging diners to be aware of the risks of eating raw and undercooked food...

A festival to remember a riot? New York event...

Aug 18, 2016

A plan to mark the 25th anniversary of one of New York City's most searing race riots with a family...

Chickens flock back to state fairs after bird flu...

Aug 20, 2016

Chickens and other poultry are flocking back to state fairs after a one-year absence due to a bird...

Campaign, party officials insist Trump getting...

Aug 21, 2016

Top GOP and Trump campaign officials say Trump is getting back on track after some of the most...

In Daily Travelogue, we aim to provide rich content for the budget traveler. We only publish blog post that is informative and entertaining to add value to our readers’ user experience.

Contact us: sales[at]dailytravelogue.com