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Branson flies on SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight
Posted: Fri, Jul 16, 2021, 7:14 PM ET (2314 GMT)
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson flew to the edge of space on his company's SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane Sunday. The SpaceShipTwo vehicle, named VSS Unity, took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at 10:40 a.m. Eastern, attached to its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft. Unity was released from the plane and ignited its hybrid rocket motor at 11:24 a.m. Eastern, flying to an altitude of about 86 kilometers before gliding back to a runway landing at the spaceport. Branson was one of six people, including two pilots and four crew in the cabin, on this flight, the first time the vehicle carried that many people. The flight took place just nine days before Jeff Bezos is scheduled to fly on Blue Origin's first crewed New Shepard suborbital flight, but Branson claimed he was not trying to compete with Bezos by moving up his flight.
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