The craft dubbed SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 69,000 feet over California's Mojave Desert early Thursday after it was dropped from a carrier aircraft and its rocket was ignited for a 20-second burn.
Two pilots and a flight test engineer were aboard as the craft reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.43, then glided to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port.
Both the altitude and speed exceeded marks set during the first rocket-powered flight last April.
Virgin Galactic plans to take paying passengers on suborbital flights that briefly enter space. The commercial spaceline is owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's aabar Investments PJS.
MORE HBJ HEADLINES
Everett Clinic to lease space in Frontier Building Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides 1:46 p.m. Milk industry fights back against Ďanti-dairy folksí 1:47 p.m. WikiLeaks slams Google over delay in revealing US warrants 1:45 p.m. Govít to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals 1:48 p.m. Supreme Court knocks down promised health benefits for union retirees 1:43 p.m.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.