BURBAN, CALIFORNIA – Virgin Galactic plans to conduct a fifth test flight on February 20 of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spacecraft. Weather permitting, the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spacecraft will take off from the Mojave air and space port at approximately 07:00 local time (10:00 am ET).
David Mackay, chief pilot of Virgin Galactic, said in a February 19 video with the company's press release, that test flight pilots would enjoy a "fantastic view at the pinnacle" and of "several minutes of weightlessness before going back down"
This flight will be the first since December 13, when the VSS Unity will have reached a maximum altitude of 82.7 km, gathering wings of astronauts for its pilots.
During the upcoming flight, Virgin Galactic plans to scrutinize the "feather" configuration of the spacecraft, where it folds its two rear arrows during the atmospheric reentry.
"We'll see how it goes in the pen; as it's easy to control the feather, "said Mackay.
In his press release on February 19, Virgin Galactic released some other details of the flight test, except to say that it "was expanding the envelope to bring together new and vital data essential for future tests and operations, including the center of gravity of the vehicle ".