Virgin Galactic's latest plane/rocket, dubbed "SpaceShipTwo", reportedly crashed shortly after takeoff this morning above the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Director Stu Witt told Bakersfield, California's KGET that the plane crashed east of Mojave. Two pilots helmed SpaceShipTwo, and their condition is still unknown; KGET reports that one fatality was mentioned in police and fire rescue scanner calls, while one parachute was reportedly spotted post-crash. Associated Press is reporting "one fatality, one major injury" from the crash, citing the California Highway Patrol.
Virgin Galactic initially reported an "anomaly" with the ship, and is now reporting the ship as a "loss." The company's Twitter account says the status of the two pilots is "unknown at this time." It's not clear what caused said "anomaly," nor is it clear how the ship crashed. SpaceShipTwo is the space-faring component of Virgin Galactic's plane/rocket combination; the plane component is known as "WhiteKnightTwo," and it apparently landed without incident. Virgin Galactic issued the following statement:
"Virgin Galactic's partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle. The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so."