Will Virgin Galactic's Crash End Space Tourism?
The fatal explosion of SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave Desert may lead to more scrutiny of the fledgling space passenger industry.
The crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo experimental space plane on Friday, which killed one test pilot and severely injured another, may have wrecked the future of space tourism.
"For the industry, the joyride is over," says attorney Michael Listner of the Space Law and Policy Solutions space law firm. "This is going to mean a lot more regulation. And there is the question of whether the industry will even survive."
Shortly after 1 p.m. EST, a test flight of the experimental space glider at southern California's Mojave Air and Space Port suffered what Virgin Galactic called an "anomaly," as witnesses reported its rocket engine misfiring and the spacecraft breaking apart in mid-air.
SpaceShipTwo was the most glamorous entrant in a