A dream for space tourism faces a great challenge as a test flight of Virgin Galactic Spaceship crashed early today. According to Reuters, the passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday near the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other.
The spaceship was lifted into the sky by another aircraft, which typically carries it to 50,000 feet. However, a malfunction occurred just seconds after the spaceship separated from the carrier, and force spaceship to do an emergency landing in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.
SpaceShipTwo was running on a new fuel formulation, and officials claimed it had been “proven and tested on the ground” four times.
The spaceship crashed into two big chunk and several small pieces. One pilot got killed and found in the wreckage and other had parachuted out while crashing. However, survival pilot got serious injured and taken to Antelope Valley Hospital.
Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic side announced statement in its website regarding this accident:
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. The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is with crew and their families. We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.
With this crash, around 800 people who had already owned ticket for space tourism of Virgin Galactic, some celebrities, journalist or space enthusiast have to await longer to enjoy this USD 250K trip. Jim Clash, a journalist who bought the ticket, said that the crash makes him shocked, but it would not change his mind on the program.