SpaceShipTwo

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Virgin Galactic Rolls Out New Space Tourism Craft

A deadly accident destroyed its predecessor

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic rolled out a new version of its SpaceShipTwo space tourism rocket Friday as it prepares to return to flight testing for the first time since a 2014 accident destroyed the original craft , killing a pilot and setting back the nascent industry. A Land Rover with Virgin Galactic founder... More »

NTSB: Pilot Thrown From Exploding Spaceship

Peter Siebold didn't know co-pilot had activated feather braking system

(Newser) - The surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert was thrown clear of the disintegrating craft and did not know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked the re-entry braking system, federal investigators said today. In its update on the still-evolving investigation, the National Transportation Safety... More »

NTSB Eyes Pilot Error in Spaceship Crash

System to slow descent was deployed too early

(Newser) - In its first investigation of a manned space launch , the National Transportation Safety Board says pilot error may have caused the deadly crash of SpaceShipTwo on Friday. The agency's acting chairman told reporters last night that a lever on the doomed spacecraft was moved to the unlock position sooner... More »

Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Was Testing New Fuel

NTSB begins investigation as Richard Branson arrives in Mojave

(Newser) - The National Transportation Safety Board has taken the lead in trying to figure out what doomed Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo yesterday , and the Los Angeles Times notes that it's a milestone of sorts in the new world of commercial space travel. This marks the first time the NTSB has... More »

Space Tourism Ship Crashes in Test Flight; 1 Pilot Dead

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo goes down

(Newser) - A spacecraft intended to carry tourists into space someday crashed this afternoon in California's Mojave desert, with one pilot dead and another injured, reports AP . "Our first concern is the status of the pilots," says a Virgin Galactic statement following the loss of its SpaceShipTwo craft. NBC... More »

Virgin Galactic Gets Another Step Closer to Space Tourism

SpaceShipTwo makes first rocket-powered test flight

(Newser) - We're one step closer to space tourism, as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo made history today: The private spaceship, designed for future commercial flights, successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight, Space.com reports. The WhiteKnightTwo mothership carried the spaceship into the air, released it at 46,000 feet, and... More »

Ashton Kutcher Buys Ticket to Space

He's Virgin Galactic's 500th customer, and yes, they have to bring him back

(Newser) - Ashton Kutcher has become the latest celebrity to shell out $200,000 for a ticket off the planet. The actor has been confirmed as the 500th customer to buy a ticket to space on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, MSNBC reports. Other customers reportedly include Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt,... More »

Virgin Spaceship Veers Out of Control

Test flight turns dramatic for SpaceShipTwo as Spaceport opens

(Newser) - SpaceShipTwo's most recent test flight turned into a more extensive test than the private spacecraft's makers had bargained for. A malfunction sent the Virgin Galactic spacecraft briefly hurtling out of control—but then its three-person crew stabilized it for a safe landing, MSNBC reports. The glitch allowed Virgin... More »

Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Makes First Solo Flight

Private spacecraft on course to take paying passengers to space

(Newser) - The world's first manned commercial spacecraft has reached a major milestone. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was released from the mothership and completed its first solo glide flight over the Mojave Desert yesterday, Wired reports. The craft, which is undergoing rigorous testing ahead of plans to carry paying customers to space and... More »

Space Plane Takes First Test Flight

Mothership and spaceship flew for 3 hours in 'captive carry' test

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took to the skies for the first time yesterday over the Mojave Desert, an important step toward passenger flights in space in 2011. “This is a momentous day,” says Burt Rutan, who built the craft and its mothership for Richard Branson’s company. The... More »

Branson Unveils SpaceShipTwo

Billionaire unveils first tourist spacecraft

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic chief Richard Branson yesterday rolled out the vessel he hopes will soon take thousands of people into space. Some 300 clients who already paid a deposit on the entrepreneur's $200,000 space travel tickets were on hand as SpaceShipTwo was unveiled at a hangar in Mojave, Calif., CNN... More »

Branson Unveils SpaceShipTwo

Double-hulled plane will carry rocket to high altitude

(Newser) - Richard Branson has unveiled the ship that will carry paying passengers to space. Slightly different from its original prototype, SpaceShipTwo will be carried to high altitude by a double-hulled plane called White Knight, where the rocket will then separate and launch. Branson's Virgin Galactic startup hopes to start test flights... More »

3 Dead in Space Center Blast

(Newser) - A third person has died from injuries suffered in an explosion at a Mojave Desert airport where part of billionaire Richard Branson's private space program is being developed, AP reports. The blast occurred during testing of a nitrous oxide propellant system for a space tourism vehicle. Three people were hospitalized,... More »

Mojave Spaceport Blast Kills 2

Four others hurt at company behind first manned rocket

(Newser) - An explosion killed at least two people at a remote desert plant attempting to develop billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism program. The blast at Mojave Air and Space Port was in part of the facility where SpaceShipTwo is being built for Virgin Galactic—to be used for $200,000 trips... More »

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