Test pilots working for Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic expect to expand the SpaceShipTwo flight envelope rapidly this year, and to reach the edge of space before the end of December. Over perhaps a half-dozen flights— building on the 16 sec. of powered flight achieved on April 29—they will demonstrate not just that their eight-seat craft can fly the suborbital trajectory pioneered by the X-15 rocketplane in 1962. The first flight to space of a new vehicle is always a momentous ...

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