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Virgin Galactic To Roll Out New Space Tourism Rocket Plane

(AP) - Virgin Galactic plans to roll out a new version of its SpaceShipTwo space-tourism rocket as it prepares to resume testing for the first time since a 2014 accident destroyed the original and killed one of its two pilots.

The new spacecraft will be unveiled Friday at the California's Mojave Air & Space Port.

SpaceShipTwo is designed to be flown by a crew of two and carry up to six passengers on a suborbital flight to the fringes of space for a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the Earth below.

The first SpaceShipTwo broke apart in high-speed flight on Oct. 31, 2014, when the co-pilot prematurely unlocked a system that is intended to slow and stabilize the craft as it re-enters the atmosphere.