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SpaceShipTwo performs first "feathered" glide flight
Posted: Thu, May 5, 2011, 7:18 AM ET (1118 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo in first feathered glide flight (Virgin Galactic/Clay Observatory) SpaceShipTwo, the commercial suborbital vehicle being developed by Virgin Galactic, performed its first glide flight Wednesday with its wings in a feathered configuration. The vehicle, making its third glide flight in two weeks and seventh overall, elevated its wings for the first time to a 65-degree angle, keeping them in that position for about 75 seconds before lowering them into their normal position and gliding back to a routine landing. The so-called "feathered" configuration, also used on SpaceShipOne, allows the vehicle to remain in a stable attitude during reentry on flights to space. Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, the company building SpaceShipTwo for Virgin, have given no indication of when powered test flights of the vehicle might begin.
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