US spaceship crash kills one pilot, injures another in California
A private spacecraft has crashed in a desert in the US state of California, leaving one of the pilots dead and the other injured, Press TV reported.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft crashed during a test flight over California's Mojave Desert on Friday afternoon.
The space plane was being developed for space tourism and was undergoing manned testing.
"During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo," the company said in a tweet on Friday.
An explosion happened after a plane designed to take SpaceShipTwo to a higher altitude released it and the craft ignited its rocket motor, photographer Ken Brown told The Associated Press.
California Highway Patrol Officer Jesse Borne said that there was one fatality and one person parachuted out.
Virgin Galactic was planning to launch space tourism flights from the quarter-billion-dollar Spaceport America in southern New Mexico.
The company has already accepted more than $70 million in deposits from some 580 people willing to pay $250,000 each to travel into space.
Earlier this week, an unmanned rocket loaded with cargo for the International Space Station exploded shortly after liftoff from a NASA facility in Virginia.