Investigators say Virgin Galactic's experimental spaceship broke apart in flight over California's Mojave Desert after a device to slow the craft's descent prematurely deployed.
National Transportation Safety Board acting chairman Christopher Hart said Sunday that while no cause for Friday's crash has been determined, investigators found the "feathering" system was activated before the craft reached the appropriate speed.
The system requires a two-step process to deploy. The co-pilot unlocked the system but Hart said the second step occurred "without being commanded."
Hart said the SpaceShipTwo's fuel tanks and engines showed no signs of being compromised.
The co-pilot was killed. The pilot parachuted to the ground and is hospitalized.
Spaceship's descent device deployed prematurely (2014, November 3)
retrieved 7 December 2022
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Let us know if there is a problem with our content
E-mail the story
Spaceship's descent device deployed prematurely