MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) – Spaceship manufacturer Virgin Galactic said investigations are underway to determine the causes of the accident in which suborbital spacecraft SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight; the company promises to continue the space project, according to an official statement released on the organization’s website.
“Space is hard and today was a tough day. We are going to be supporting the investigation as we figure out what happened today. We’re going to get through it. The future rests in many ways on hard days like this, but we believe we owe it to the team, that has been working so hard on this endeavour, to understand this and to move forward. And that is what we’ll do”, said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic.
The Virgin Galactic team is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and local authorities to investigate all possible causes of the accident. Virgin group founder Richard Branson and the NTSB are expected to arrive to the Mojave Desert on Saturday morning, the statement said.
Branson said earlier that he was shocked and saddened by the tragedy.
Two crew members were on board of the spacecraft. One of them died during the accident, while another was hospitalized after he managed to exit the vehicle and parachute to the ground.
The SpaceShipTwo crash is the second major accident this week involving space vehicles in the United States. On Tuesday, the Antares rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) crashed seconds after it had launched.