Space Tourism Aircraft Makes Test Flight

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    Dec. 21: WhiteKnightTwo took to the air for the first time following several weeks of taxi tests.

    Bill Deaver/Mojave Desert News
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    An artist's conception depicts Virgin Galactic's mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, cradling suborbital craft SpaceShipTwo in mid-flight.

    Virgin Galactic
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    An artist's conception depicts SpaceShipTwo attached beneath the mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, then separating and preparing to make its suborbital flight.

    Virgin Galactic
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    This closer view shows detail of one of WhiteKnightTwo's two bows, with two of the engines, also showing the 'Galactic Girl' artwork.

    Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic
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    Sir Richard Branson, left and Burt Rutan greet the media at the Virgin Galatic rollout of the mothership "Eve" at Scaled Composities in Mojave on July 28, 2008. Photo by Alan J. Duignan for

    Alan Dulgnan/