Despite the crash of the first SpaceShipTwo that killed a test pilot and wounded another, the management of Virgin Galactic has stated their resolve to continue with the second SpaceShipTwo which is near completion and will be launched at a date to be announced. The rocket construction has neared 65% construction, and the US billionaire CEO Richard Branson and his family has been slated to take the first space tourism aboard the ship into space.
“While this has been a tragic setback, we are moving forward and will do so deliberately and with determination. We are continuing to build the second SpaceShipTwo. We will continue to advance our mission over the coming weeks and months,” said Virgin Galactic in a recent statement to the public.
The company appears to be strengthened in its resolved to move ahead with the project because the construction of the second space rocket is near 65%, and largely because the crash of the first ship was due to the pilot’s error.
Investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board has established from preliminary investigations that the co-pilot unlocked the movable tail surfaces before time, without further input from the pilot to deploy it; meanwhile, the tail’s surfaces or feathers were supposed to have been deployed only after the motor had finished burning to make the ship glide to a safe landing.
While the resolve to deploy the second SpaceShipTwo seems a little insensitive to the demise of Michael Alsbury, the test pilot, another calamity that has befallen the memory of the fallen pilot is his disqualification to be included in the Astronauts Memorial Foundation because he died while flying a commercial craft into space missions.