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Virgin Galactic Spaceship Test Flight Ends in Fatal Crash

Virgin Galactic Spaceship Test Flight Ends in Fatal CrashVirgin Galactic Spaceship Test Flight Ends in Fatal Crash

A passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday near the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other, officials said.

The crash of the suborbital vehicle, undergoing its first powered test flight since January over the Mojave Desert, 95 miles (150 km) north of Los Angeles, came days after another private space company, Orbital Sciences Corp, lost a rocket in an explosion moments after liftoff in Virginia, Reuters reported.

The back-to-back accidents dealt a blow to the fledgling commercial space launch industry, which has been taking on more work traditionally done by the US government while expanding for-profit space markets, including tourism.

Galactic, a division of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, has been planning on providing so-called “space tourists” with the opportunity to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to ride far from Earth as soon as 2015.

 

Financialtribune.com