Home Breaking News Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash kills at least one person in Mojave desert

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash kills at least one person in Mojave desert


Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space tourism craft crashed in Mojave desert killing at least one person, the California Highway Patrol has said.

The craft was flying a manned test when it experienced what the company described as “a serious anomaly”.

SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by a jet, then launched into sub-orbit.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson tweeted he was flying to California “to be with the team”.

“Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support,” Richard Branson said.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo space tourism craft crashed in Mojave desert killing at least one person

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space tourism craft crashed in Mojave desert killing at least one person

Television images shot from a helicopter showed what appeared to be wreckage bearing the Virgin logo.

In a statement, Virgin Galactic said the “vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo”. The aircraft that held the spaceship, known as White Knight 2, has landed safely, Virgin Galactic said.

Ken Brown, a photographer who witnessed the crash, said the craft exploded after it was released from a plane that carries it to a high altitude.

Kern County Sheriff’s spokesman told the Reuters news agency the craft’s co-pilot was killed, while the pilot ejected and was seriously injured.

Virgin Galactic has been a front-runner in the nascent space-tourism industry and Sir Richard said earlier in October he expected to see the craft make it to sub-orbital space within a few months.

More than 800 people have already paid or put down deposits for a trip on SpaceShipTwo, which costs about $200,000 per person.

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