Well, that was a rough week for private space exploration. First, an Orbital Sciences rocket exploded seconds after liftoff. Then Virgin Galactic lost a space ship along with one crew member and another injured.
10/31 – Los Angeles Times – ‘Tough day’ for space travel as Virgin Galactic’s spaceship crashes – Second disaster in a week, this time with one fatality and one injury. The WhiteKnightTwo plane lifted the SpaceShipTwo space craft to 50,000 feet. Something went terribly wrong shortly after SpaceShipTwo separated and the rockets fired to lift it to suborbital heights. The spaceship, designed to eventually carry paying passengers into low orbit, crashed.
I pray God will comfort the family of the space explorer who died. I pray God will comfort all of the staff at Virgin Galactic and walk with all the hurting people as they grieve.
You remember the phrase “this isn’t rocket science”? Well, what Virgin Galactic, Orbital Sciences, and many others are doing is rocket science. It is difficult, complex work that is extraordinarily dangerous.
11/1 – Space.com – Virgin Galactic Vows to Continue Space Tourism After SpaceShipTwo Crash – CEO George Whitesides said:
Space is hard, and today was a tough day.
Founder Richard Branson tweeted:
Space is hard – but worth it. We will persevere and move forward together.
Price tag for the brief suborbital trip is $250,000. Seven hundred people have made a deposit for the journey.
A bad week. Yet Virgin Galactic will learn from this disaster and go forward, soaring higher.