The company's twin-fuselage VMS Eve carrier plane took off from Virgin Galactic's Spaceport America site around 16:17 GMT, Virgin Galactic said on Twitter. The craft carried the VSS Unity spaceplane with a crew of six company employees to a planned altitude of roughly 16,000 meters.
There, VSS Unity separated from its carrier craft and ignited an engine to boost itself toward space, the company confirmed on Twitter.
Virgin Galactic pilots Jameel Janjua and Nicola Pecile piloted the carrier aircraft VMS Eve. The spacecraft, released from the carrier craft, ignited a rocket engine and climbed to an altitude of roughly 80 kilometers, the U.S.-recognized boundary of Earth's atmosphere, where the crew experienced weightlessness for around 3 minutes.