Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Probe of rocket crash may take a year


Billionair­e Richard Branson is promising to find out what caused the crash of his Virgin Galactic prototype space tourism rocket that killed a test pilot, but federal investigat­ors are cautioning that it may take up to a year to learn exactly what went wrong.

The crash in the California desert almost certainly dashed Branson’s goal of starting suborbital flight next spring, but the mogul said that while he remained committed to civilian space travel “we are not going to push on blindly.”

In grim remarks at the Mojave Air and Space Port, where the craft known as SpaceShipT­wo was under developmen­t, Branson gave no details of Friday’s accident and deferred to the NTSB, whose team began its first day of investigat­ion Saturday.

“Yesterday, we fell short,” he said. “We’ll now comprehens­ively assess the results of the crash and are determined to learn from this and move forward.”

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