20:26 GMT20 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - SpaceX/Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has congratulated private space company Virgin Galactic on the successful test flight of its VSS Unity spacecraft.

    "Congrats! @virgingalactic," Musk wrote on Twitter, commenting on the third VSS Unity test flight that brings Virgin Galactic closer to its goal of providing suborbital spaceflights to tourists.

    On Saturday, VSS Unity was brought up to an altitude of around 44,000 feet by a carrier aircraft called VMS Eve. The spacecraft then reached an altitude of around 293,000 feet using its rocket engine and then landed back at the Virgin Galactic runway (Spaceport America) in New Mexico.

    VSS Unity can hold up to six passengers and two pilots. Virgin Galactic, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, has already begun taking reservations from would-be space tourists for daily flights, with tickets priced at around $250,000 each.

    In March, the company said that another spacecraft in its fleet, VSS Imagine, was going to start a series of test flights this summer.

    Tags:
    spacecraft, Elon Musk, Virgin Galactic
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