Richard Branson says space is 'worth it' after pilot dies in Virgin Galactic crash
Sir Richard Branson took to Twitter his appreciation after netizens sent tweets of support to the founder of Virgin group not long after the crash of SpaceShipTwo.
The Virgin Galactic spacecraft was in the midst of test flight after taking off using a new fuel mixture for a redesigned engine system when it crashed, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another pilot, who had parachuted out of the craft.
The English business magnate wrote:
Soon after, he added:
Branson still believes the effort to bring passengers to space is "worth it."
The spacecraft crashed after an explosion during a test flight over the Mojave desert on Friday (Oct 31), Wall Street Journal reported.
In the most recent post on Virgin Galactic's Facebook page, they cleared up speculation behind the cause of the accident claiming they will not have facts "for some time yet" before confirming the details they did receive.
A file photo from 2013 of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two (SS2), the world's first commercial spaceship owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments PJC. PHOTO: Reuters
The post mentioned the facts they did know before CEO George Whitesides stated that the company will "move forward."
"First, the Virgin Galactic team is cooperating with our partners at Scaled Composites and with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration, and local authorities on the investigation. The NTSB is scheduled to arrive in Mojave tomorrow morning to commence their investigation.
"Second, local authorities have confirmed that one of the two Scaled Composites pilots onboard SpaceShipTwo died during the accident. The other pilot parachuted to the ground, and is now being treated at a local hospital. All of us are deeply saddened by today’s events, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those affected by this tragic accident.
Wreckage from Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is shown in this still image captured from KNBC video footage from Mojave. PHOTO: Reuters
"At a press conference earlier today, our CEO, George said: “Our primary thoughts at this moment are with the crew and family, and we’re doing everything we can for them now. I'd like to recognize the work of the first responders who we work with in the Antelope Valley for their efforts on behalf of the team...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 endeavor, to understand this and to move forward. And that is what we’ll do.” - A statement from Virgin Galactic
Sources: Twitter, Facebook and Wall Street Journal