At 1607 GMT on 15 February a Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Unity rocketplaine was air-dropped from its carrier aircraft Over the Mojave air strip in California, at.  Aboard was David Mackay – the main test pilot and his co-pilot Mike “Sooch” Masucci (Co-Pilot).  Finally there was a company “passenger”.  Beth Moses (Virgin Astronaut Instructor to conduct cabin tests) was aboard to carry out various tests during the flight. After igniting its rocket engine, the craft achieved altitude of 89.9 km on its suborbital trajectory before re-entering and landing back at Mojave. This was below the Karman line limit of 100 km and so is not classed as a full spaceflight.

SpaceShipTwo Unity’s engine burns brightly as it carries a crew of three. Courtesy: Virgin Galactic via BBC