Virgin Galactic crash places private space tourism under scanner

The crash of the first passenger spaceship, the Vi... more

Debris from Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip two in California’s Mojave desert. The spaceship crashed on 31 October, 2014 during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another. AFP
1/7Debris from Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip two in California’s Mojave desert. The spaceship crashed on 31 October, 2014 during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another. AFP
Wreckage from the crash. According to early findings by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading the investigations, the vehicle appears to have broken apart in flight. Reuters
2/7Wreckage from the crash. According to early findings by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading the investigations, the vehicle appears to have broken apart in flight. Reuters
Later nvestigations ruled out an engine failure or fire as the reason for the crash. According to NTSB, the co-pilot may have executed a braking maneuver at the wrong time and at the wrong speed. Reuters
3/7Later nvestigations ruled out an engine failure or fire as the reason for the crash. According to NTSB, the co-pilot may have executed a braking maneuver at the wrong time and at the wrong speed. Reuters
The spaceship was undergoing its first powered test flight since January, when it crashed, spreading debris over an 8 km swathe of the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles. Reuters
4/7The spaceship was undergoing its first powered test flight since January, when it crashed, spreading debris over an 8 km swathe of the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles. Reuters
The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket exploded mid-air, minutes after it was released from WhiteKnightTwo, the mothership plane. Faulty tail deployment is also being cited as one of the possible reasons for the crash. Reuters
5/7The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket exploded mid-air, minutes after it was released from WhiteKnightTwo, the mothership plane. Faulty tail deployment is also being cited as one of the possible reasons for the crash. Reuters
The Spaceship completed its first rocket-powered flight on 29 April, 2013. The craft is intended to fly people to an altitude of just over 100km so they can experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the Earth against the blackness of space. Reuters
6/7The Spaceship completed its first rocket-powered flight on 29 April, 2013. The craft is intended to fly people to an altitude of just over 100km so they can experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the Earth against the blackness of space. Reuters
The craft is owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJC. The crash has put the avenues of space travel under scrutiny, with Branson’s company facing criticism for downplaying safety. AFP
7/7The craft is owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJC. The crash has put the avenues of space travel under scrutiny, with Branson’s company facing criticism for downplaying safety. AFP
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