The Virgin Galactic spaceship that is being tested and developed to make commercial space travel possible crashed Friday killing the pilot and severely injuring the second pilot. The second pilot was apparently able to eject from the space craft before it crashed after it experienced launch difficulties when it was first released from the craft carrying the spaceship.
The accident took place at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, was the first test the craft had taken on since January. This accident was the second in just a span of a few days. The first took place in Virginia, just shortly after Orbital Sciences Inc watched their rocket explode into a fireball seconds after launch.
The accidents both spark a lot of concern in the space travel region where private companies are having a greater and greater influence in the space program. Video footage showed two large sections of wreckage, but those close to the area and who actually witnessed the crash noted that there could be as many as 30 different debris fields from the crash.
The pilot was the individual who survived the wreck by ejecting from the space craft before it actually crashed, but officials noted that he was injured severely. The second individual who perished in the crash was the co-pilot. However, this is an industry that has been getting a lot of funding.
In fact, there are at least 800 people that have paid a deposit to fly in space. This has become a potentially profitable sector of tourism that many are suggesting is a bit overzealous. Some have used language suggesting that the proposition of flying in space, or regular space travel is too far out there.
The craft was released at 45,000 feet above Earth, when it experienced what was described as “a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of Spaceship Two.” Virgin released a tweet noting that “We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates ASAP.”
This crash was just another major setback for the space community who many have believed these flaws, and failures are a result of commercialization, or privatizing the space industry in an effort to save the United States money. However, many have argued that if it weren’t for this privatization a space program as we know it in the United States wouldn’t be possible.