It’s been a rough week in the space flight industry. On Friday afternoon, a test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo class VSS Enterprise resulted in a catastrophe, crashing down in the Mojave desert, killing one pilot, with the other ejecting and now being treated in hospital.
SpaceShipTwo crash site. Credit: AP Online Video / powered by Newslook
During the test flight, launched by Virgin Galactic’s partner corporation Scaled Composites from the Mojave Spaceport, WhiteKnightTwo, an aircraft designed to bring SpaceShipTwo to launch altitude, successfully released the spacecraft. After two minutes, something went wrong, resulting in the eventual crash of the craft.
WhiteKnightTwo in flight Credit: D.Miller
SpaceShipTwo during flight after release from WhiteKnightTwo
Virgin Galactic released a statement shortly after the accident, saying the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) would be conducting an investigation starting Saturday that would last for several days, so we will have to wait and see what the results are before we can understand what went wrong.
SpaceShipTwo co-pilot Michael Alsbury did not survive the crash. Scaled Composites Director of flight operations Peter Siebold was piloting SpaceShipTwo, and was injured in the crash. He is currently in hospital and is expected to recover.
During the official ...