Tags: virgin galactic | spaceshiptwo | in flight | anomaly

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash: 'In-Flight Anomaly' Kills 1

Image: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash: 'In-Flight Anomaly' Kills 1
WhiteKnightTwo with Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in middle, October 17, 2011 file photo. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 31 Oct 2014 02:59 PM

An in-fight "anomaly" caused Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo to crash during a test flight in California on Friday, Agence France-Presse reported.

The craft, which is still in its test phase and which normally carries two pilots, had been carried aloft on a bigger aircraft known as WhiteKnightTwo and then released for a test of its rocket engine.

The fate of the crew was not immediately known, though an ABC News tweet said one person died and one other was injured.



"SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly. Additional info and statement forthcoming," Virgin said, giving no further details.

WhiteKnightTwo had taken off normally from California's Mojave desert, and been released normally, in what was the 35th such flight.

"SpaceShipTwo has been released by WhiteKnightTwo, and is now flying freely," the firm wrote in a blow-by-blow account of the flight, adding: "Ignition! SpaceShipTwo is flying under rocket power again."

The next tweet announced the "anomaly."



More than 500 people have already reserved seats — paid a deposit on the $200,000 ticket price — for a minutes-long suborbital flight on SS2.

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers.

It is the commercial version of SpaceShipOne, the first private spacecraft to reach the edge of space in 2004, and which is now on displace at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Private companies are rushing to fill the gap left by NASA, which ended its 30-year shuttle program in July with the completion of the final Atlantis mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Friday's incident is the second involving a space craft this week, after an unmanned Orbital Science rocket exploded on Tuesday six seconds after launch on a resupply mission to the ISS.

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An in-fight "anomaly" caused Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo to crash during a test flight in California on Friday, Agence France-Presse reported.
virgin galactic, spaceshiptwo, in flight, anomaly
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2014-59-31
Friday, 31 Oct 2014 02:59 PM
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