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Virgin Galactic tourism rocket SpaceShipTwo explodes over Mojave Desert in California, killing Michael Tyner Alsbury, 39, and majorly injuring Peter Siebold, 43

Modified Date: 
Thu, 11/13/2014 - 5:53am
Accident Date: 
Friday, October 31, 2014

SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic's space tourism rocket, explodes over Mojave Desert

SpaceShipTwo, which is typically flown by two pilots, was designed to provide a suborbital thrill ride into space before it returns to Earth as a glider.  

Virgin Galactic says space tourism rocket lost

SpaceShipTwo is typically flown by two pilots.

Virgin Galactic Crash: Katy Perry, Justin Bieber And Tom Hanks Have Booked Future Flights

The two-hour suborbital flight was to include five minutes of weightlessness. But after the ship’s crash on Friday, those prospective passengers may be thinking twice about spaceflight.

Virgin Galactic's Spaceshiptwo in fatal crash

So the company switched engines to one burning a form of nylon plastic grains, made by Scaled Composites, which also builds SpaceShipTwo for Virgin. In July, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides was confident the new motor would do the job.

Branson vows to find out cause of spacecraft crash

"This will be the first time we have been in the lead of a space launch (accident) that involved persons onboard," said Hart, noting that the NTSB did participate in investigations of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.

Virgin Galactic pushes ahead after crash

Virgin Galactic says it's pushing forward with its plan to provide commercial space flight, despite a deadly test flight a little more than a week ago.

Some ask for refunds after Virgin Galactic crash

Some future space passengers are having second thoughts about making the voyage after Virgin Galactic’s devastating crash.

NTSB Reveals How Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Pilot Survived Crash

Federal investigators today revealed that one of the two pilots of the Virgin Galactic crash last month was able to survive the ordeal because he was still strapped in his seat as the plane broke apart in midair.

Rocket crash stirs uncertainty about space tourism

The ultimate goal of Virgin Galactic co-owner Richard Branson is to create an industry that can move people around the globe in a fraction of the time it takes passenger jets, by rocketing them into space and back down.

NTSB: SpaceShipTwo Pilot Thrown Free As Craft Broke Apart

The surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert was thrown clear of the disintegrating craft and did not know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked the re-entry braking system, federal investigators said Wednesday.

Inquiry Into SpaceShip Twos Crash Says Feathers Were Unlocked Prematurely

The co-pilot, Michael Alsbury, evidently unlocked the booms prematurely, when the craft was moving relatively slowly and in relatively thick air, investigators say.
SpaceShipTwo, a Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket, exploded Friday after taking off on a test flight, killing one person aboard and seriously injuring another.  Wreckage was scattered across Southern California's Mojave Desert. One person parachuted out of the craft. A witness said the rocket exploded after a plane designed to take it to a higher altitude released SpaceShiptTwo, and the craft ignited its rocket motor. This was north of Mojave Air and Space Port, where the test flight originated, which is about 120 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Check back for updates!  
People Involved: 
Peter Siebold
Michael Tyner Alsbury
Flight Line
Mojave, CA

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