Virgin Galactic spacecraft crash kills one
At least one person is dead and another injured after Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo space tourism craft crashed in the California desert. The craft was flying a manned test when it experienced what the company described as "a serious anomaly". It was undergoing its first powered test flight since January over the Mojave Desert, north of Los Angeles.
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson tweeted he was flying to California "to be with the team". "Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support," Sir Richard said. Both pilots were employed by Scaled Composites. One was pronounced dead at the scene while the other was transported to a local hospital in an unknown condition.
Television images shot from a helicopter showed what appeared to be wreckage bearing the Virgin logo. Officials have said the debris is currently strewn over a large area. In a statement, Virgin Galactic said the "vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo". The aircraft that held the spaceship, known as White Knight 2, has landed safely, Virgin Galactic said.