Virgin Galactic’s carrier aircraft releases its spacecraft Unity during a glide flight test.
Virgin Galactic confirmed its latest spaceflight test was cut short after its SpaceShipTwo vehicle “Unity” attempted to launch above New Mexico on Saturday.
While no passengers were on board, Unity was piloted by CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay for the flight. Virgin Galactic was aiming to reach the edge of space for the third time, in its inaugural spaceflight from its operating base in New Mexico.
“SpaceShipTwo Unity is headed for home. We will share more information once we have it,” the company said in a tweet.
Virgin Galactic confirmed the spacecraft successfully returned in a glide to land back at Spaceport America in New Mexico, where it took off from under its carrier jet aircraft about an hour earlier.
“Wheel stop, SpaceShipTwo Unity,” Virgin Galactic said in a tweet.
An unofficial webcast hosted by space enthusiast forum NASASpaceflight appeared to show the spacecraft’s engine aborted after firing momentarily.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.