Thank you for your messages of support; they are much appreciated at this difficult time. There is much speculation about what exactly caused today’s accident, but we will not have all the facts for some time yet. In the meantime, we wanted to confirm a few key details.
First, the Virgin Galactic team is cooperating with our partners at Scaled Composites and with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration, and local authorities on the investigation. The NTSB is scheduled to arrive in Mojave tomorrow morning to commence their investigation.
Second, local authorities have confirmed that one of the two Scaled Composites pilots onboard SpaceShipTwo died during the accident. The other pilot parachuted to the ground, and is now being treated at a local hospital. All of us are deeply saddened by today’s events, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those affected by this tragic accident.
At a press conference earlier today, our CEO, George said: “Our primary thoughts at this moment are with the crew and family, and we’re doing everything we can for them now. I’d like to recognize the work of the first responders who we work with in the Antelope Valley for their efforts on behalf of the team. We’re also thinking of the team members that we have at the companies that have been working on this program. Space is hard and today was a tough day. We are going to be supporting the investigation as we figure out what happened today. We’re going to get through it. The future rests in many ways on hard days like this, but we believe we owe it to the team, that has been working so hard on this endeavor, to understand this and to move forward. And that is what we’ll do.”
Lastly, Richard Branson is on his way to Mojave as we speak to visit with our team.
We’ll post more information when we are able.