A test flight by Virgin Galactic on Monday was the biggest milestone in the company’s mission to be the world’s first commercial space liner in its 8.5-year history.
Its SpaceShipTwo aircraft ignited its rocket motor in mid-flight for the first time and sped to Mach 1.2 to reach about 56,000 feet in altitude.
"We never thought it would take this long, but it was worth the wait," Branson said in an interview. "Now that we have accomplished supersonic flight, we feel ready to take the next step. There are an awful lot of exciting things to come."