Virgin Galactic makes first flight from New Mexico site

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Virgin Galactic on Saturday completed its first rocket-powered flight from Spaceport America in southern New Mexico.

The flight was the first from Virgin Galactic’s new headquarters at the futuristic desert outpost but it wasn’t immediately clear from information released by the space tourism company whether the hour-long test flight actually reached space as planned.

A Virgin Galactic representative did not immediately respond to an emailed request for clarification.

After delays due to the coronavirus pandemic and some dicey weather earlier this week, the crew had been cleared for a morning launch amid clear conditions.

The spaceship was crewed by two pilots. There was payload belonging to NASA onboard but no passengers.

The next phase of final testing for the Virgin Galactic team will involve company mission specialists and engineers being loaded into the spaceship’s passenger cabin for powered flights. They will evaluate all the hardware, camera settings and which angles will provide the best views.

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