Virgin Galactic‘s experimental space craft SpaceShipTwo crashed overnight during a test flight in California, reportedly leaving one man dead and another seriously injured.
Several hours ago, the company announced via Twitter
that one of its flights had experienced a “serious anomaly”, and that they were working to determine the cause of the accident.
report that the California Highway Patrol were first on the scene, and it is believed that the co-pilot of the flight was killed, while the pilot ejected and has been transported to hospital.
Reportedly, Virgin Galactic were using a “new fuel formulation” on this particular flight, but stressed at a recent press conference that it had already been “fully tested” on the ground.
Virgin founder Richard Branson expressed his sadness on Twitter, and is reportedly on the way to the scene.
Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004, aims to provide suborbital flights to space tourists and suborbital launches for space science missions, and one day plans to provide orbital space flights for passengers.
SpaceShipTwo, which was unveiled in 2009, was to be one of these tourist vessels – flights on it were being sold for upwards of $250,000, and reportedly, the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Ashton Kutcher and Katy Perry had put down a deposit on tickets.
We’ll follow this story as it develops.