It was during the fourth powered flight that SpaceShipTwo, the second spaceplane Virgin Galactic, exploded, killing Mike Alsbury one of its two test pilots and seriously wounding the second, Pete Siebold, who managed to jump parachute as the plane was breaking up.
Having accumulated delays, the project space tourism Richard Branson seems challenged. The accident SpaceShipTwo and the recent explosion of the Antares launcher Orbital space projects shows that private companies, as well as space agencies, must cope with the difficulties of the conquest of space. The news just reminded the 700 passengers who had pre-purchased their tickets for Virgin Galactic space.
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