California Highway Patrol is reporting and Virgin has confirmed that Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has crashed on a test flight over the Mojave Desert killing one pilot and seriously injuring another. MORE HERE
First of all, condolences to the family and friends of the pilot who lost his life in the crash. Test pilots are a rare breed and I’m sure the risks were weighed out well before takeoff but that does not make it any easier for those close to him.
With that said, how much of a set back is this for the Virgin Galactic Program. With a privately funded rocket (headlines read NASA rocket but it was funded by contractor Orbital Sciences) blowing up this week and now this, what is the future for non-governmental space exploration? Time will tell but this will surely be touchstone event.