Virgin Galactic Says It Will Build Second SpaceShipTwo After Crash Of First

Virgin Galactic may be badly bruised, but it’s not throwing in the towel. Just days after its SpaceShipTwo spaceplane crashed during a test flight over California’s Mojave Desert, the Las Cruces, N.M.-based space tourism company said it would continue building another commercial spaceplane.

On its website, the company called the fatal crash a “tragic setback,” adding:

“We are continuing to build the second SpaceShipTwo (serial number two), which is currently about 65 percent complete and we will continue to advance our mission over the coming weeks and months…We owe it to all of those who have risked and given so much to stay the course and deliver on the promise of creating the first commercial spaceline.”

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation into the cause of the crash, which killed copilot Michael Alsbury and injured pilot Peter Siebold. Preliminary findings suggest that Alsbury deployed SpaceShipTwo’s reentry system prematurely, causing the spaceplane to break apart.
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