There has been a lot of talk about just how close the world is to offering commercial space travel. However, this talk was put on hold when companies in the industry got a reality check on just how dangerous this can be after a Virgin Galactic rocket crashed during a test flight. The crash happened over a desert in California, so no civilians were hurt. However, one of the pilots in the rocket died.
Despite this, Virgin Galactic is not ready to give up on space travel just yet. The owner of the company, Sir Richard Branson, said that he will persevere in his mission to offer commercial space flights. He will not let the pilot’s death be in vain.
The rocket that suffered the crash was SpaceShipTwo. Apparently, it experienced serious anomalies during flight. Two pilots were in the ship when the anomalies hit. One of the pilots was able to eject from the spacecraft just in time. However, he is now in the hospital with moderate to severe injuries.
People nearby said that they could see the spacecraft explode at about 45,000 feet. It took it nearly two minutes to fall to Earth. It was launched from the WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane over the Mojave Desert. Branson, who is travelling to the desert sometime this week, said it will be one of the most difficult trips that he has ever made.
When writing on his personal blog, Branson said that he was shocked and saddened when he heard the news of the crash. He knew the road to space exploration was going to be extremely difficult. This new transportation system is going to have to deal with bad days in its early history, and the day of the crash was one of those days. Space is hard to get to, but it will be worth it in the end. It is time to move forward and persevere in this dream.
As with any death, the authorities are involved to find out just what happened. Branson said that he is going to fully cooperate with authorities. Since it had to do with air travel, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will also investigate the company.
George Whitesides, the chief executive of Virgin Galactic, said that the company owes it to the pilots of the spacecraft to continue moving forward. It would not be right to stop now, when the dream is so close. Their hard work will pay off.
For those unfamiliar with the company, Virgin Galactic is the frontrunner in the race to put paying customers into space. Before this crash, Sir Richard said that he was hoping to travel to space next spring. This is when the first flight was going to take off. Unfortunately, it’s no longer known how far this new development has pushed them back.