Press Release

Media Update from Virgin Galactic – Oct. 31, 2014 6:15PM PST

By SpaceRef Editor
October 31, 2014
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We want to provide you with an update following this afternoon’s press conference at the Mojave Air & Spaceport. 

First, the Virgin Galactic team is cooperating with our partners at Scaled Composites and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as well as local authorities.  We understand that the NTSB is scheduled to arrive in Mojave tomorrow morning (Saturday Nov. 1) to commence their investigation, which is expected to last several days.  

Second, during the press conference, local authorities confirmed that one of the two Scaled Composites pilots died during the accident. The other pilot parachuted to the ground and is being treated at a local hospital.  All of us at Virgin Galactic are deeply saddened by today’s events.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those affected by this accident.

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, provided the following statement at today’s press conference: 

“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.”

George also confirmed that Sir Richard Branson is on his way to Mojave and is expected to arrive by early Saturday morning.

We recognize your interest in additional information.   It is our understanding that there will be another press conference over the weekend at the Mojave Air & Space Port.  We will send any logistical details as they become available, and we will provide another update from Virgin Galactic at that time in conjunction with the press briefing. 

SpaceRef staff editor.