British billionaire Richard Branson flew his Virgin Galactic rocket plane more than 50 miles into space over the New Mexico desert for the first full test flight.
He flew with six Virgin Galactic employees.
The white spaceplane Branson was travelling in was attached to the bottom of Spaceport America’s twin-fuselage jet VMS Eve.
When the VSS Unity passenger plane reached its launch point at about 46,000 feet, it detached from the mothership and fell away as the crew ignited its rocket and sent it straight into space at a supersonic speed of about 53 miles.
The flight lasted about one hour.
The flight marked a milestone for Branson during a 17-year journey when he founded the company in 2004.
He hailed the mission as a precursor to a new era of space tourism.
The company plans to do two more test flights before it begins regular commercial operations in 2022.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.