Space test flight

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceshipTwo takes off for a suborbital test flight of the VSS Unity on December 13, 2018, in Mojave, California. - Virgin Galactic marked a major milestone on Thursday as Unity made it to a peak height, or apogee, of 51.4 miles (82.7 kilometers), after taking off attached to an airplane from Mojave, California, then firing its rocket motors to reach new heights. (Photo by Gene Blevins / AFP)

MOJAVE — Virgin Galactic’s tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of space.

The rocket ship hit an altitude of 51 miles before beginning its gliding descent, said mission official Enrico Palermo. It landed on a runway minutes later.

“We made it to space!” Palermo exclaimed.

The supersonic flight takes Virgin Galactic closer to turning the long-delayed dream of commercial space tourism into reality. The company aims to take paying customers on the six-passenger rocket.

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