Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed today during a test flight over the Mojave Desert in California. The spaceplane, which is designed to carry passengers into space on a suborbital trajectory, was lost after suffering a "serious anomaly."
Details of the crash, its cause, and the fate of spacecraft’s pilots have still not been released by Virgin Galactic. In a statement, the company said:
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"Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with the relevant authorities to determine the cause of the accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so."
According to the BBC, a helicopter captured video of wreckage scattered on the desert floor. The broadcaster is also reporting that one crew member has died.
Rather prophetically, almost exactly one year ago, astronaut Chris Hadfield predicted that Virgin Galactic would eventually crash one of its spaceplanes.
Source: Virgin Galactic