The White Knight-SpaceShip combo
At roughly 8 a.m. local time in the heart of California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, White Knight Two carried the spacecraft SpaceShipTwo -- in a combination aerial vehicle seen here -- to 46,000 feet before SS2 disengaged and began flying on its own.
The eight-seater SS2 -- designed for two pilots and six passengers -- then kicked on its hybrid rocket motor for 20 seconds, twice as long as the initial rocket-powered test flight. The thrust pushed the vehicle to 69,000 feet and a max speed of Mach 1.23, or approximately 1,090 mph.
September 5, 2013 3:28 PM PDT
Photo by: Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET
| Caption by: Nick Statt
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