Virgin Galactic sent out a number of tweets this afternoon, confirming that its experimental spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, was lost Friday during a test flight.
MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) — A Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket exploded Friday after taking off on a test flight, killing one person aboard and seriously injuring another while scattering wreckage in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, witnesses and officials said.The company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson would not say what happened other that it was working with authorities to determine the cause of the “accident.”
“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo,” Virgin Galactic tweeted Friday.
Ken Brown, a photographer who witnessed the crash, told The Associated Press that SpaceShipTwo exploded after a plane designed to take it to a higher altitude released it and the craft ignited its rocket motor.
Brown said the wreckage fell in the desert north of Mojave Air and Space Port, where the test flight originated. The area is about 120 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.