Virgin Galactic stuns with newest leap forward

Only days after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo completed its 24th successful drop test, the commercial spaceship soared high above the California desert once again.
Last Friday, on April 12, SpaceShipTwo completed its first "cold flow" test. The test was designed to try the propulsion systems of the spacecraft without an actual trip to suborbital heights. This was accomplished by running oxidizer through the ship’s propulsion system — without the presence of rocket fuel.
The result was a beautiful contrail of oxidizer streaming out from SpaceShipTwo’s rear nozzle — a visual that proved in dramatic fashion just how ready Virgin Galactic is to bring commercial space flight to the world. That wonderful contrail of oxidizer, along with the mechanical success onboard SpaceShipTwo, is the proof officials needed to move SpaceShipTwo into the next, even more dramatic phase of testing: fully-powered flight.