Virgin Galactic rocket plane soars to edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space plane has conducted the first of three key test flights that should enable it to enter commercial service. The Unity vehicle, with pilots Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow at the controls, powered to a height of 89km (55 miles), and then glided back down to Earth.

Sir Richard has some 600 paying customers - including movie and music stars - waiting to take the same ride. But they'll only get their chance once Unity is fully licensed.

Watch the moment the Unity rocket plane was launched.

Read more: Virgin rocket plane flies to edge of space