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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

BREAKING NEWS - Authorities: 1 dead, 1 injured in SpaceShipTwo test flight failure


(CNN) -- One person died and another was injured Friday when Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo test flight failed following what the company described as a "serious anomaly."

The casualties are believed to be the pilots of the aircraft, though California Highway Patrol Officer Jesse Borne did not identify them.

The injured person has been airlifted to a local hospital, Borne said. He declined to identify the hospital.

Virgin Galactic has planned for years to sell trips in which SpaceShipTwo transports passengers about 62 miles above Earth -- the beginning of outer space -- and let them experience a few minutes of weightlessness before returning to ground.

News of the crash of SpaceShipTwo came just after 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET).

"During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle," the company said in a statement.

The company has not confirmed the two pilots manning SpaceShipTwo were either killed or injured.

"We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident," the company said on Twitter.

The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after SpaceShipTwo separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle designed to carry it aloft, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

That is bad. Exploding rocket obviously blew off both tail sections. The manufacturer will likely have trouble assuring the FAA it cannot happen again. Will likely take at least a year to investigate IMHO before they get clearance to try again unless the cause is obvious. May point to the obvious; spaceflight will always carry risk that may not be acceptable for joy rides. Parachuting carries risk but they are not high.

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

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