Outside has confirmed with sources on the ground that Richard Branson’s experimental SpaceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight over California’s Mojave Desert. The fate of the two test pilots onboard is still unconfirmed, though initial reports have claimed that one pilot is dead and the other is seriously injured. According to witness reports and photos now trickling out from the site, the craft broke in the air shortly after igniting its rocket engine. Virgin Galactic reported an "in-flight anomaly" and has yet to release any detailed information about the event. A press release is scheduled for 2 P.M. Pacific Time.
The craft underwent its first powered test flight on April 29, 2013, and Virgin Galactic has been booking $200,000 sub-orbital flights since the successful launch of the company's SpaceShipOne in 2004. The crash will be a significant setback to the private space travel industry that the ship was supposed to spawn. We'll bring you more on this breaking story as we report it.