Virgin Galactic – Pilot Error?

Investigators probing the Virgin SpaceShipTwo accident have established a “human performance” team to help them understand the actions of the pilots. The new group will look at how the men interacted with the vehicle, and the design and layout of the systems they used to control the craft. SpaceShipTwo broke apart just seconds after igniting its rocket engine for a test outing above California on Friday. Continue reading

Virgin Galactic Pilots Names Released

US officials have started to investigate why a Virgin Galactic space rocket crashed over California’s Mojave Desert on a test flight. Virgin chief Sir Richard Branson said he was “determined to find out what went wrong” and learn from the tragedy.

The co-pilot, named as Michael Alsbury, 39, died when SpaceShipTwo exploded shortly after take-off on Friday.

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Future of Space Tourism Uncertain

A rocket-powered aircraft designed for space tourists broke apart and crashed during a test flight in California’s Mojave Desert on Friday, killing one pilot and injuring the other.

Virgin Galactic LLC’s SpaceShipTwo was on its first powered flight using a new fuel mixture for a redesigned engine system. If the first few test flights went well, it was supposed to take its inaugural passenger, company founder Richard Branson , out of the atmosphere in the next few months. Ahead of Friday’s test, company officials expected commercial service would begin as soon as early next year.

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