Fox News reports that Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo space plane blasted off on Monday for the first test flight from Mojave Air and Spaceport in California.

It was taken into the air by a mothership craft called WhiteKnightTwo and released at 46,000 feet. It's speed was Mach 1.2 which is faster than the speed of sound.

Sir Richard Branson said, Virgin Galactic plans to build a fleet of spaceships and begin ferrying hundreds of tourists into space in 2014.

Branson said, “It was the biggest milestone in this program, and it’s taken us eight and a half years to get there. Now we know it can break the sound barrier safely. Now we can start testing at 2,000 miles an hour, 3,000 miles an hour, 4,000 miles an hour -- and then by the end of the year, be ready to do flights into space”

Branson added, “We’ve already given the go-ahead to start building more spaceships, more motherships, more satellite launchers, it really is the start of a whole new era of space travel.”

Via [Fox News]