Video showing a recent test of Virgin Galactic's NewtonThree rocket engine. A single NewtonThree rocket engine will power the first stage of LauncherOne, Virgin Galactic's orbital small satellite launch vehicle. In this test, conducted in Mojave, California, the NewtonThree engine fires for ninety seconds.
A third successful powered flight test on 10th Jan by the Virgin Galactic prototype suborbital passenger spaceplane SpaceShipTwo ignited the hybrid motor for 20 seconds, and reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.4, and altitude of 71,000ft. The vehicle was flown by Scaled Composites' Mark Stucky, and Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot Dave Mackay. The flight tested new thermal reflective coatings on the inside of the tailbooms, and the reaction control system, used for attitude control outside the atmosphere.