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NTSB explains what SpaceShipTwo pilot endured during horrific incident

SpaceShipTwo pilot's recount of frightening incident has been released.

Published Wed, Jul 29 2015 5:56 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Jun 16 2020 4:29 PM CDT

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo pilot Peter Siebold's frightening account of what happened as the test craft broke apart after suffering a "serious anomaly."

NTSB explains what SpaceShipTwo pilot endured during horrific incident |

Aware that SpaceShipTwo disintegrated, Siebold blacked out as the cool air was extremely difficult to breathe. The next time he woke up, he desperately tried to active the equipped backup oxygen, and his next memory was when his parachute automatically deployed.

Scaled Composites failed to create a system that would have prevented the braking system from being prematurely unlocked, which caused the issue when the other pilot unlocked it, according to the NTSB.

Despite the SpaceShipTwo incident, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson said he still plans to be a passenger on the first tourist flight. Meanwhile, Virgin plans to test a different craft later this year, as the company has hundreds of people signed up to fly 62 miles above the Earth's surface.


An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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