Sunday, November 2, 2014

Virgin Galactic SpaceshipTwo disaster: Branson counts economic loss

UK hedonist billionaire declared his intention to continue with his, 'for profit' pursuit of Space tourism, using the failed Virgin Galactic Spaceship.

He declared that he was undaunted by this 'setback,' i.e. the death of a pilot, the critical injuries to another pilot and the catastrophic loss of the aircraft.

It is clear that the human loss and misery will not affect his economic assessment of the viability of this venture or perhaps Virgin is not willing to write off the enormous expenditure on another loss-making, ill-conceived and badly managed Branson concept.

U.S. federal investigators are cautioning that it may take up to a year to learn exactly what went wrong.

In grim remarks at the Mojave Air and Space Port, where the craft known as SpaceShipTwo was under development.

UK Hedonist billionaire Branson gave no details of the accident and deferred to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, whose team began its first day of investigation.

Picture: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

SpaceShipTwo test pilots Peter Siebold (left) who parachuted to safety but was seriously injured and Michael Alsbury who was killed in the accident

Credit: AP

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Scale Composites inspect wreckage at one of the debris fields

Credit: REUTERS/David McNew

Investigators will review video from multiple cameras that were on the spaceship, on the mother ship, on a chase aircraft and at nearby Edwards Air Force Base. 

They also have six "nonvolatile" sources of information from the aircraft, and radar data to sift through

Credit: REUTERS/David McNew

The investigation could take up to 12 months to complete

Credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

At 60 feet long, SpaceShipTwo featured two large windows for each of up to six passengers, one on the side and one overhead. 

Credit: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

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