Commercial Spaceship Crashes During Test Flight
Geoff Brumfiel, with Additional Reporting from The Associated Press
In what could be a major setback for commercial space tourism, a manned spaceship has crashed in California. Authorities say one person on board has been killed.
The Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two was on a test flight this morning, with two pilots aboard. Minutes after its rocket fired, the company announced on Twitter that spacecraft experienced an "anomaly."
Local authorities confirm that an aircraft has gone down. The AP reports that one pilot has been killed.
Photographer Ken Brown says the space tourism craft was released from the plane that carries it to high altitude, ignited its rocket motor and then exploded. Brown says there is wreckage in the desert north of Mojave Air and Space Port.
The California Highway Patrol says there is one fatality and one major injury.
SpaceShip Two doesn't go all the way into orbit. But the goal is to fly into space for brief tourist trips.
The trips will cost $250,000 a piece, and more than 700 people have already put down deposits.