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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Branson on Virgin Galactic crash: 'Space flight is hard -- but worth it'


Virgin founder Richard Branson vowed to continue pursuing the idea of commercial spaceflight despite the crash of SpaceShipTwo, the suborbital space plane that his Virgin Galactic business is testing for space tourism.

SpaceShipTwo went down in California's Mojave Desert during a test flight on Friday. One pilot was killed and the second was rushed to a hospital with major injuries.

The incident is a blow to Branson's dreams of building a business that would allow regular -- albeit wealthy -- people to fly into space, and its the latest mishap involving commercial rockets.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday that it would take the lead role in the investigation, and Branson said he would work with the authorities. "We're determined to find out what went wrong," he said during a press conference Saturday.

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