SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo May Have Setbacks After Explosion

An explosion during testing of nitrous oxide for components in the upcoming SpaceShipTwo killed 3 people so far, with others injured. The blast happened at a Scaled Composites facility in the Mojave Desert called the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Burt Rutan, the aerospace designer, was not present at the time, but came as soon as possible and was visibly distraut while talking to reporters, and would not release any names until the families were notified.

He verified that the nitrous oxide was at room temperature and under pressure and confirmed that it was not a new test, but had been performed numerous times for SpaceShipOne.

SpaceShipTwo being carried by Eve

This may cause problems for SpaceShipTwo, a Virgin Galactic project under the control of Richard Branson. The plan is to give tourists rides into space for $200,000, something unthinkable when the space programs were in their infancy. Space was something to be tackled by nations, not private corporations.