But still to come is a key step: powering SpaceShipTwo via its hybrid rocket motor. That motor will provide the needed oomph to fly space travelers to the edge of space on a suborbital trajectory.
"We expect a big 2012," said George Whitesides, the CEO and president of Virgin Galactic.
The main milestones relate to flight testing, Whitesides told SPACE.com. "We plan to integrate the rocket motor into the spaceship, do our first powered flight and, after some additional flights, we plan to go to space."