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HIGH FLYER: Virgin Galactica

Virgin Galactic's new passenger space rocket SpaceShipTwo made its first solo glide flight over the Mojave desert recently. The ship was carried up to a height of 13,700m (45,000 feet) by its mothership and then released over the desert. In the test, the ship did not fire its rocket engine to climb to space.

Company officials say the SpaceShipTwo then landed at an airport runway on its own followed by the mothership. The entire flight took about 25 minutes.

Here at The Luxury Travel Bible we're fond of Sir Richard Branson's inventive forays into ever more extravagant ways to have us travelling in style, whether it is under the sea or up to the stars.

The VSS Enterprise (love the Captain Kirk-ness of the name) test flight programme will continue into 2011, progressing the independent glide to powered flight, prior to the start of commercial operations.

For a cool $200,00 you too could book a seat just like 340 others already have.

SpaceShipTwo still has some rigorous testing before it can carry tourists to space but one day, one day....

VSS Enterprise Glide Flight
VSS Enterprise Glide Flight, photo by Mark Greenberg

Luxury Links: www.virgingalactic.com
Anne Paris, 30/10/10

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