posted at 06:51
Author: Barry Levine
Sat, 01 Nov 2014 13:46:52 +0000
Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo used a new kind of fuel
The questioning is underway into what caused the crash of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo on Friday. The test co-pilot was killed and the pilot, who parachuted out, suffered serious injuries and is at the local Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California. The switch had been announced in May. The new fuel tested better for performance, according to Northrop Grumman Corp. Another possible factor: this was the first test of the rocket engine in flight in more than nine months. The explosion reportedly took place shortly after SpaceShipTwo dropped away from the WhiteKnightTwo and lit up its engine. "This was the latest part of an extensive test flight program, and the 55th time SpaceShipTwo had flown. It was WhiteKnightTwo's 173rd flight and the 35th time SpaceShipTwo had flown freely. The testing program has also included extensive ground testing of all parts of the spaceship. We've always known that the road to space is extremely difficult - and that every new transportation system has to deal with bad days early in their history." Virgin Galactic, owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS, is on track to be the world's first commercial spaceline. The new spaceship and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS E... read more ».

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