Mojave, California (CNN Business)Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s space tourism startup, will attempt Thursday to send its rocket-powered plane closer to space than it’s ever been. The company has conducted three test flights over the past eight months that have pushed its supersonic plane progressively higher. On its fourth test flight, scheduled for Thursday, Virgin Galactic will attempt to blow past its previous record of 32.3 miles — and potentially reach the 50-mile mark, an altitude that the US government used to award astronaut wings and some consider to mark the edge of space. “Overall the goal of this flight is to fly higher and faster than previous flights,” the company said in a blog post. “We plan to burn the rocket motor for longer than we ever have in flight before.” The mission will aim to more closely match the flight profile that Virgin Galactic plans to use for commercial missions. Soon, Virgin expects to take paying customers to the edge of space. A smooth flight Thursday could put the company closer to becoming the world’s first operational space tourism business. It’s a feat Virgin has worked toward for 14 years. Flight profile Read More Rather than aiming for space… Read full this story
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