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Spaceship makes first powered flight

30 April 2013 Last updated at 13:02 BST

The spaceplane being developed by UK billionaire Sir Richard Branson has made its first powered flight.

The vehicle was dropped from a carrier aircraft high above California's Mojave Desert and ignited its rocket engine to go supersonic for a few seconds.

Sir Richard's intention is to use the spaceship to carry fare-paying passengers on short pleasure rides above the Earth's atmosphere.

Catharina Moh reports