Co-pilot killed in Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crash in Mojave Desert

1 dead, 1 injured in SpaceShipTwo crash

MOJAVE, Calif. - One of the two pilots onboard Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo died when the aircraft they were piloting experienced an anomaly and crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert Friday morning.

READ RELATED | Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two embarks on powered test flight

The plane took off from White Knight 2 at 10:07 a.m. Friday, and Virgin Galactic reported that SpaceShip Two was under rocket power.

Virgin Galactic reported via Twitter that SpaceShip Two started flying and roughly six minutes after the release, they experienced some type of problem.

READ RELATED | Virgin Galactic: Second test flight of SpaceShip Two successful

Officials with the Kern County Fire Department were sent to the area of Cantil and Garlock roads at about 10:30 a.m.

WATCH | Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two test flight in Mojave

Officials said that two people were onboard the spaceship and officials reported that one parachute was seen on the ground.

At about 10:50 a.m. a Black Hawk helicopter was sent to the area to search.

 

SpaceShipTwo uses all the same basic technology, carbon composite construction and design as SpaceShipOne. However it is around twice as large as that vehicle and will carry six passengers and two pilots, according to Virgin Galactic's website.

Mojave Air and Spaceport is about 61 miles southeast of Bakersfield.

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