This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Space, the final frontier, is a little bit closer after the latest successful test flight Virgin Galactic's new plane.
In the footage above, a specially designed airplane, called WhiteKnightTwo, carries SpaceShipTwo into the air, where it detaches and reaches heights of about 71,000 feet. The test flight took place in the Mojave Desert and was the third powered run for the plane. The plane reached a top speed of Mach 1.4 during the flight.
The fireworks start about 2:40 into the video and include multiple angles. SpaceShipTwo is Virgin's second astro-plane, coming after SpaceShipOne, which won the Ansari X Price in 2004.
And in case you're wondering, SpaceShipTwo could begin ferrying paying customers into space as soon as this year. Tickets cost $250,000, but will offer several minutes of weightlessness and a chance to see the curvature of the earth. Katy Perry and Justin Bieber have already signed up
If that's too pricey, you could always try to hop on a one-way mission to Mars, which will only cost you your family.
Jim Dalrymple II