Tags: spaceship II | pilot | ntsb | thrown | free

Spaceship II Pilot to NTSB: I Was Thrown From Vehicle When It Came Apart

Image: Spaceship II Pilot to NTSB: I Was Thrown From Vehicle When It Came Apart
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By    |   Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 03:31 PM

Peter Siebold, the surviving pilot of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip II — which broke apart over the Mojave Desert during a test flight on Oct. 31 — has revealed details about the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Siebold was thrown from the vehicle when it broke apart and unbuckled himself from his seat before his parachute deployed, Reuters reported.

He was unaware that co-pilot Mike Alsbury, who was killed in the crash, had unlocked the moveable tail section early, which may have led to the crash.

The feathering system, which is designed for use during re-entry, deployed shortly after it was unlocked, Aviation Week reported.

The accident occurred shortly after the craft was separated from the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft that carries it toward sub-orbital space, Aviation Week said.

Siebold’s description of the vehicle’s motion before the crash matched information obtained from other data sources, according to the report.

The craft broke apart about 50,000 feet above sea level, ejecting Siebold into air that was about -70 degrees Fahrenheit. Siebold said his last memory before being knocked unconscious in his fall was the sensation of the moisture on his tongue boiling. Water boils at a lower temperatures as pressure decreases, Bloomberg said.

The wreckage has been recovered, and the investigation of the crash is ongoing, the NTSB said in a press release.

A replacement craft is being developed, and Virgin Galactic officials hope to resume test flights next year, USA Today reported.

The company has sold tickets for $250,000 to customers wishing to travel to space. Customers, including Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga, expect to experience four minutes of weightlessness.

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Peter Siebold, the surviving pilot of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip II — which broke apart over the Mojave Desert during a test flight on Oct. 31 — has revealed details about the crash to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
spaceship II, pilot, ntsb, thrown, free
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2014-31-12
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 03:31 PM
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