Space Virgin takes flight

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has fled the nest of its twin fuselage WhiteKnightTwo mothership Eve and landed on its own for the first time at Mojave Air and Space Port in California, USA.

VSS Enterprise is designed to carry six passengers and fly at up to Mach 3.5 at 68 miles altitude, just under a third of the way up to the International Space Station. The first test release was at 45,000ft; just 5000ft lower than the planned release altitude for space flight.

G-force tests over Yeovil

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Amazing sight over the office in Yeovil on Tuesday. A fast jet, presumably a Harrier or Hawk out of Yeovilton, painted this Cumberland sausage of a contrail while performing a G-force test. The test started from the outside and got tighter as it went. The received wisdom is it was a trainee pilot being tested, not the plane.