On Friday, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo will fly in space for the second time, taking off from Mojave, California after days of weather delay. Their launch time is set for 8 a.m. PST.
Unlike most spaceflights that fire rockets from the ground, SpaceShipTwo is carried on the back of a plane named WhiteKnightTwo before being released to propel itself into the upper atmosphere. It’s a suborbital flight, meaning it does not reach orbit, and attains weightlessness for only a few minutes during its trip.
SpaceShipTwo made its maiden space voyage in December 2018, and today will be its fifth powered flight in total. Unlike other private spaceflight companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic has made their main goal ferrying private citizens into space, and have been taking reservations for years.
Today, its only passengers are its pilots, Dave Mackay and Mike Masucci, and a variety of NASA research projects.