Space & Astronomy
Pilot dies in Virgin Galactic plane explosion
By T.K. Randall
October 31, 2014 · 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 Galactic's 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
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