Virgin Galactic says its rocket plane has reached space for a second time in a test flight over California.

The company says the winged spaceship reached an altitude of 55.8 miles (89.8 kilometers) Friday and then safely landed at Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles.

In addition to two pilots, the spacecraft carried a third crew member to evaluate the cabin from a passenger perspective.

The flight marks another step toward commercial operations that will take passengers on supersonic thrill rides to the lower reaches of space to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the Earth far below.

The ship, named VSS Unity, first reached space on Dec. 13 in a test flight to an altitude of 51.4 miles (82.7 kilometers).

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