Space

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes on test flight

SapceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight
SapceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight
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SapceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight
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SapceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight

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:

"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

3 comments
Oleg Melnic
again? bad week for space
rubley
Predicting a crash is easy, I predicted a crash the first time I heard of this project. The fact that I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering might have helped. Space flight currently has a 4% mortality rate, and there is absolutely no reason to expect this program to achieve a better safety record. People are in love with the idea of commercial space flight, with the dream of $500 trips to space. What they don't understand is that the current $250,000 price is a pittance, its dirt cheap, it won't get cheaper. And after this venture kills a few paying customers, it will all be over. Its not a stepping stone to trips to Mars, its a joyride for the 1%.
Skipjack
rubley, we need to lower the cost for access to space, or mankind will never make it anywhere, mars or otherwise. Suborbital spaceflight is a stepping stone on the path.
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