SS2's hybrid rocket motor
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo (SS2) successfully sailed to supersonic speeds with the aid of a rocket engine for the second time on Thursday.
Here's a close-up shot of the SS2 during its first rocket-powered flight back in April. The hybrid rocket motor has thus far pushed the aircraft to 69,000 feet and Mach 1.43, or more than 1,000 mph, over the course of 20 seconds of use.
The ultimate goal is to keep the rocket burning for 70 seconds until SS2 hits 2,500 mph and a max altitude of 364,000 feet.
September 5, 2013 3:28 PM PDT
Photo by: Virgin Galactic
| Caption by: Nick Statt
Conversation powered by Livefyre