Witness says space tourism rocket exploded
MOJAVE, Calif. - The wreckage of the Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket known as "SpaceShip Two" is scattered in Southern California's Mojave Desert, after an explosion during a test flight.
Authorities say one person onboard was killed, and another was seriously injured. A Highway Patrol officer says one person parachuted out of the craft.
A photographer who witnessed the crash says the aircraft exploded after a plane designed to take it to a higher altitude released it, and the craft ignited its rocket motor.
SpaceShip Two is typically flown by two pilots. It was designed to provide a sub-orbital thrill ride into space before it returns to Earth as a glider.
The company isn't saying what happened, other than that it is working with authorities to determine the cause of the accident.