SpaceShipTwo, designed and manufactured by aerospace pioneers Scaled Composites, is carried to roughly 46,000 feet by another Scaled Composites vehicle, White Knight Two. When it's released, it kicks on the rocket motor with an astounding burst of orange and white.
The motor -- a hybrid rocket engine fueled by hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTBP) and nitrous oxide -- provides 60,000 pounds-force (270 kN) of thrust.
September 5, 2013 3:28 PM PDT
Photo by: MarsScientific.com/Clay Center Observatory
| Caption by: Nick Statt
Conversation powered by Livefyre