Virgin Galactic is getting ready to have its first commercial flight later this year. As it ramps up for that flight, the company is conducting test flights to be sure everything about the spacecraft functions well. Recently SpaceShip Two had its third test flight and set a personal best record for speed and altitude reports Engadget.
SpaceShip Two reach an altitude of 71,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.4. The third test flight was conducted to gather more information on the flight of the craft and to test some new features. The new features included a thruster system and a new tail coating.
The thruster system was attached to the craft for the first time and will be used to control the spacecraft in orbit. The special coating being tested is designed to help protect the tail from the hot flames of the rocket engine.