Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took off today for the first powered flight in almost nine months, after a three hour delay waiting for the weather to cooperate the WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane took off and 45m later dropped the SS2 vehicle.
Soon after the SS2 began it’s powered flight something went wrong causing the vehicle to crash. Unfortunately it looks like one of the pilots didn’t survive the accident.
The NTSB are investigating the accident, following an initial review it appears that the feather breaking system was triggered too early causing the vehicle to break up, there is no indication that the rocket engine had anything to do with this accident. This is still very early information and subject to change.
We also learned this weekend that Michael Alsbury, who was flying as co-pilot on this test, died as a result of the breakup, the injured pilot was Peter Siebold, the last update we received reported that he was awake and responding to family.
We will update once we have more news.