That's one sonic step closer to space flight for Virgin Galactic, which completed its second supersonic flight this week. In the California Mojave Desert on Thursday, the company's carrier aircraft, the WhiteKnightTwo released the space vehicle SpaceShipTwo at an altitude of 46,000 feet. The SS2 pilots then brought the plane up to 69,000 feet and zoomed past the speed of sound at Mach 1.43.
This second push at subsonic speeds put the company on track to the start of commercial service in 2014, according to Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson. Watch the very un-space-shuttle-looking spacecraft break the sound barrier in the video below.