virgin galactic

SpaceShipTwo's Surviving Pilot Ejected Into -56C At 15,000m

Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong in the tragic crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. While the National Transportation Safety Board has been looking into an issue with the braking system, the agency has released details from surviving pilot Peter Siebold about how he managed to escape the exploding spacecraft.


Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Deployed Its Braking System Prematurely

Following the tragic accident on Friday which saw Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo fail catastrophically, engineers are now scrabbling to understand the cause. In a new briefing, the National Transportation Safety Board has explained that the craft deployed its braking system prematurely.


Why Space Travel Matters More Than Ever

Yesterday, somewhere in the Mojave desert, investigators began the long process of understanding the events that led to the tragic accident that killed one pilot and left another injured. And even after they finish, plenty of questions about the future of the commercial space industry will remain. But the one we’ll always know the answer to is if space travel is worth pursuing.


Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Has Crashed, One Pilot Confirmed Dead

Virgin Galactic is reporting that there has been an “in-flight anomaly” aboard SpaceShipTwo. There were unconfirmed reports that one of the two pilots is dead. Those reports have now been confirmed. The suborbital flight took off at 9:19am PDT from the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California. Update: Virgin Galactic has confirmed that SpaceshipTwo has crashed and the California Highway Patrol has confirmed that there is one fatality and one major injury.


Virgin Galactic Has Delayed Its First Flight

Things don’t always run smoothly for Virgin Galactic, although it is increasingly making progress. Now, those eager to make it into space on a plane may have more of a wait than they’d like though — because the company has had to push back its maiden voyage.


DARPA'S Turning To Bezos And Branson For Help Building Its Spaceplanes

We’ve known about DARPA’s plan to build a reusable, unmanned space plane for quite some time, but the agency just announced the companies that will help. Unsurprisingly, two feature famous billionaires who love space.


The UK Is Getting A Spaceport Too

The UK may have a spaceport within four years — and it will probably be in the northern reaches of Scotland. The plan to have a UK spaceport up and running by 2018 is expected to be announced by the government’s science minister this week, with six potential sites — four of which are in rural Scotland, where it won’t matter so much if spaceplanes crash back to earth — on the shortlist.


Report: Google In Talks To Buy Stake In Virgin Galactic

Google is apparently in talks to buy up part of Virgin Galactic, but not to take a leisure cruise: Sky News claims that it will buy “crucial access to satellite-launch technology” to help put its new low-Earth orbiters into the sky.


Virgin Galactic Is Finally Cleared For US Take-Off

It came to light earlier this year that despite promising to fly you through space Virgin Galactic didn’t actually have Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to take off from the US. Now, it has struck a deal, which should see it able to take to the skies.


15 Years Of Virgin Galactic's Failed Space Age Promises

Back in 2012, I saw a sign outside of a travel agency in Western Australia that filled my cold, black heart with glee. It was an ad for Virgin Galactic, with the implied promise that if I stepped inside that door, I could buy a flight to space from an “accredited space agent.” I knew there was no way I could afford it, but just seeing that sign made me feel — however briefly — like I was living in the future. For those of us living here in the second decade of the 21st century, commercial space travel still usually feels like it’s light years away.