WASHINGTON, October 31 (RIA Novosti) — US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigates the suborbital spaceplane SpaceShipTwo crash in California Mojave desert on Friday, the agency said in a statement.
"The FAA is investigating," the release said, confirming that "just after 10 am local time [17:00 GMT] ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo."
Earlier on Friday, the spaceship manufacturer Virgin Galactic announced that an experimental space flight vehicle SpaceShipTwo has crashed during the powered test flight in the Mojave desert due to a serious anomaly.
"The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after the space flight vehicle separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carried it aloft," the release said. "Two crew members were on board SpaceShipTwo at the time of the incident. WhiteKnightTwo remained airborne after the incident," the document added.
Virgin Galactic added that it is now working closely with relevant authorities in order to determine the cause of the accident.
The crash of the SpaceShipTwo is the second major accident with space vehicles, happening in the United States this week.
On Tuesday, the Antares spacecraft, carrying cargo to the ISS, crashed only six seconds after launching from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
A special commission has been set up in the United States to investigate the cause of the explosion, according to NASA.