|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on February 22, 2012 at 9:30 AM|
These great video clips from Virgin Galactic and Masten Space show the great progress being made to make private manned spaceflight a reality.
Masten Space's clip shows their Xaero test rocket flying up to 61m and coming back to land - the first in a series of test flights to ever-higher altitudes.
Masten's goal is a fully-reusable unmanned sub-orbital spacecraft for scientific research, but it's not hard to see how this technology could scale up with a partner dedicated to manned flight.
As the video shows, Xaero copes with a small wobble at the apex of its flight, and the ultra-cool landing gear damps out a big tilt as the engine switches off as it lands.
Virgin Galactic has been busy putting SpaceShip Two and WhiteKnight Two through their paces on a series of test flights, and this showreel rounds up the latest progress as well as showing the progress made at Spaceport America in Nevada, which will host Virgin Galactic's first flights.
The Virgin group website promises it will be operational 'soon'. Could that be this year? It looks like everything is ready to fire up the engines...