Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes in Mojave

It appears that Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger suborbital spacecraft backed by Virgin founder Richard Branson, has crashed in California’s Mojave Desert following what the company is calling “a serious anomaly” during tests. The Virgin Galactic test flight began at the Mojave Air and Space Port, located about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, and was intended to test a new hybrid rocket formula in SpaceShipTwo. RELATED: Take a closer look at Richard Branson's SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo According to NBC News reports, Officer Jesse Borne of the California Highway Patrol confirmed that there has been one fatality and one major injury in the incident. Reports indicate that shortly after the SpaceShipTwo suborbital craft separated from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane at 50,000 feet, it fired up its rockets, which malfunctioned and caused the catastrophic explosion. RELATED: The Terrafugia Transition is the flying car you could own This most recent test marks nearly nine months since SpaceShipTwo’s last rocket-powered test in January 2014 and only days since its last unpowered aerial outing on October 7. The new fuel compound, a transition from a rubber-based to plastic-based mixture, was intended to increase rocket performance and range. Witnesses have spotted debris from the plane across a small portion of the desert. It is confirmed that WhiteKnightTwo landed safely upon return. An official statement is expected at 5pm Eastern. RELATED: Is this 1958 GM Firebird Concept a car or a spaceship? __________________________________________________ For More, Follow BoldRide on Twitter and Sign up for our Newsletter