Last Thursday, Virgin Galactic's private spaceship flew higher and faster than it has ever before. This experience provided company officials the confidence they needed to announce that the vehicle is on track to start taking passengers on suborbital jaunts next year.
This was the second time that Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has had a rocket-powered test flight, which took off on Thursday morning from Mojave Air and Space Port in California. SpaceShipTwo reached a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet, and hit a top speed of Mach 1.6, which is 1.6 times the speed of sound - or around 761 mph.
The first test flight saw SpaceShipTwo reach just 56,000 feet and a speed of just Mach 1.2, which took flight on April 29.