|October 31, 2014|
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes during test flight
|A suborbital passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic crashed during a test flight on Friday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, officials said.|
Two pilots were aboard the spaceship, which was undergoing its first powered test flight since January. It was not immediately known if they were able to parachute to safety.
The company had tweeted Friday that SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power and then tweeted that it had "experienced an in-flight anomaly." The tweet said more information would be forthcoming.
According to the Associated Press, Kern County Fire Department reported it is heading to a location in the Mojave Desert. California Highway Patrol Officer Darlena Dotson says the agency is responding to a report of a crash in the Cantil area.
SpaceShipTwo has been under development at Mojave Air and Spaceport in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.
SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by a specially designed jet and then released before igniting its rocket for suborbital thrill ride into space and then a return to Earth as a glider.
On Tuesday, another private space flight company, Orbital Sciences, suffered a high-profile rocket launch explosion after liftoff from Wallops Island, Virginia.