We are now on Patreon! Click here to learn more about how you can help support the site.

Saturday, December 4, 2021
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Space & Astronomy > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Space & Astronomy

Pilot dies in Virgin Galactic plane explosion

October 31, 2014 | Comment icon 66 comments



Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Jeff Foust
The company's SpaceShipTwo vehicle exploded over the Mojave desert following an 'in-flight anomaly'.
Virgin Galactic's space tourism plans have suffered a major setback today when one of their pioneering space vehicles exploded and crashed during a test flight.

Two pilots, one of which is believed to have been killed, were aboard the plane when the incident happened.

Virgin Galactic stated that SpaceShipTwo had suffered an unspecified "in-flight anomaly" which lead to the explosion.
"Virgin Galacticís partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of #SpaceShipTwo earlier today," the company wrote on its Twitter account. "During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo."

The accompanying WhiteKnightTwo vehicle managed to land without incident.

It is likely that the accident will push back the already heavily delayed launch of Virgin Galactic's space tourism service which is currently scheduled to begin by March of next year.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (66)



Unexplained Mysteries is now on Patreon!

Click here to learn more about how you can help support the site and gain access to a range of perks including a subscriber badge, ad-free browsing, an exclusive weekly newsletter, sneak peaks of upcoming features and more.
23 / 25  
We are 92% of the way to our second Patreon subscriber target - thank you!
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #57 Posted by seeder 7 years ago
This might be the closest thing to good news Virgin have had in days. If the accident was the result of pilot error then there may be nothing drastically wrong with the SpaceShipTwo design. Minor modifications or even procedural changes may be all that is required to prevent a similar accident. Virgin may be able to return to flight testing once the "VSS Voyager" is completed. Of course that is a lot of "ifs" and it will be many months before the investigation is completed. And on that note Last desperate moments inside Virgin spaceship revealed in cockpit video as former project chief says 'n... [More]
Comment icon #58 Posted by Valdemar the Great 7 years ago
Absolutely disgraceful attempt to pre-empt the official investigation by pinning blame on the pilot, who's no longer able to defend himself. And there were no safety interlocks or anything to prevent this fatal mistake from happening? Not only shameful, but the craft sounds appallingly badly designed. You can see how the former president of virgin Galactic (and what a hubristic name that is) would be anxious to deflect any suggestion that their ramshackle craft might be an accident waiting to happen, can't you.
Comment icon #59 Posted by The Sky Scanner 7 years ago
Absolutely disgraceful attempt to pre-empt the official investigation by pinning blame on the pilot, who's no longer able to defend himself. And there were no safety interlocks or anything to prevent this fatal mistake from happening? Not only shameful, but the craft sounds appallingly badly designed. You can see how the former president of virgin Galactic (and what a hubristic name that is) would be anxious to deflect any suggestion that their ramshackle craft might be an accident waiting to happen, can't you. One possible safety feature that needs looking at and possibly implementing equates... [More]
Comment icon #60 Posted by Valdemar the Great 7 years ago
Well yes, anyway how could deploying the wings prematurely cause the engines to explode? Sounds suspiciously like blaming someone who's in no position to answer back (see also: a certain Malaysian Airlines flight). And surely you wouldn't approve of a former president of the company trying to pre-empt the official investigation like that?
Comment icon #61 Posted by seeder 7 years ago
Well yes, anyway how could deploying the wings prematurely cause the engines to explode? Sounds suspiciously like blaming someone who's in no position to answer back (see also: a certain Malaysian Airlines flight). And surely you wouldn't approve of a former president of the company trying to pre-empt the official investigation like that? Engines were found in tact, as well the fuel tanks, no explosion there http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/02/virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-crash-investigators-fuel-warnings
Comment icon #62 Posted by The Sky Scanner 7 years ago
Well yes, anyway how could deploying the wings prematurely cause the engines to explode? Sounds suspiciously like blaming someone who's in no position to answer back (see also: a certain Malaysian Airlines flight). And surely you wouldn't approve of a former president of the company trying to pre-empt the official investigation like that? What a former president might be saying is an issue for them. Well you are second guessing the findings now. I can see how tethering the wings whilst on full throttle would cause it to break up and fall from the sky...other then that I haven't seen anything o... [More]
Comment icon #63 Posted by toast 7 years ago
Not only shameful, but the craft sounds appallingly badly designed. I would say that the likelihood for a bad design is very little as the device was developed/constructed by and build under the supervision of Burt Rutan and this guy is a kind of Einstein in the fields of aircraft construction/-safety and aerodynamics.
Comment icon #64 Posted by DONTEATUS 7 years ago
Auh yes but even Rutan and all the Kings men will need to sift thru the bits and pcs to see what happened ! I have to concur with major in flight structural failure, the premature feathering would Indeed tip the scale`s at those speeds !
Comment icon #65 Posted by skookum 7 years ago
Absolutely disgraceful attempt to pre-empt the official investigation by pinning blame on the pilot, who's no longer able to defend himself. And there were no safety interlocks or anything to prevent this fatal mistake from happening? Not only shameful, but the craft sounds appallingly badly designed. You can see how the former president of virgin Galactic (and what a hubristic name that is) would be anxious to deflect any suggestion that their ramshackle craft might be an accident waiting to happen, can't you. Seems the father of the surviving pilot is unhappy that the finger of blame is bein... [More]
Comment icon #66 Posted by DONTEATUS 7 years ago
You can bet that They are looking into it ! Its How we learn not to do it again ! Sad to Loose a pilot,But It will keep them from Loosing flt-crews & Passengers !


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Recent news and articles