Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, launched its second successful rocket-powered supersonic test flight on Thursday, Sept. 5.
The company’s WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) shuttle carrier blasted off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, propelling the company’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) vehicle to 46,000 feet.
Then, SS2 was released and its rocket motor ignited for a 20-second burn that propelled the craft to 69,000 feet — the highest altitude for a commercial craft to date.
The craft blasted through the sound barrier, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 1.43 before safely returning to Earth. Pilots reported a “flawless flight,” according to a Virgin press release.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to have another major supersonic milestone under our belts as we move toward a 2014 start of commercial service,” Virgin Galactic’s founder billionaire Sir Richard Branson said in a press release.
Check out this tail camera footage and catch a glimpse of what the first commercial passengers might experience next year:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.