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Second SpaceShipTwo Sits On Its Own Landing Gear

Company Making Progress, But 'Still Much To Be Done'

Virgin Galactic sent out a Tweet Friday that the second SpaceShipTwo had been lowered onto its landing gear in a hangar in California.

"Yesterday, we lowered 2nd #SpaceShipTwo onto landing gear for 1st time. Still much to be done, but it's looking great," the Tweet said.

The spacecraft intended to carry paying passengers on sub-orbital flights was already in development when a tragic accident resulted in the destruction of the first SpaceShipTwo on October 31 last year during a powered test flight. Co-pilot Mike Alsbury was fatally injured when the spacecraft broke up over the Mojave Desert. Pilot Peter Siebold survived, saved by a parachute that automatically deployed after the spacecraft broke up around him.

On November 7 last year, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides wrote that "the second SpaceShipTwo is already two-thirds complete, and our team are pouring themselves into that project with heightened resolve. Our will is indefatigable, and our team is determined."

The second SpaceShipTwo is being assembled in a hangar at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic's manufacturing company. Ground testing of the new spacecraft could begin sometime this year, but the timeline has not been updated for some time.

(Image from Twitter)



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