Pilot Unlocked SpaceShipTwo System Early, But Cause Unknown
The National Transportation Safety Board says a system to slow the rocket down deployed early in the fatal crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.By Mikah Sargent, Cliff Judy | November 3, 2014
Investigators now know what happened only seconds before Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket broke apart. During a Sunday night press conference, the National Transportation Safety Board pointed to the early deployment of a system designed to stabilize and slow the rocket down — or "feathers." (Video via National Transportation Safety Board)
ACTING CHAIRMAN CHRISTOPHER A. HART, NTSB: "The feathers moved into the deployed position and two seconds later, we saw disintegration."
The NTSB's chairman was quick to add, however, that was "a statement of fact and not a statement of cause. We are a long way from finding cause."