Accidents put in question future of spaceflight

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The week saw two major setbacks in space flight: First, the explosion of the unmanned Antares rocket, and then the crash of the Virgin Galactic spaceplane. The Antares rocket, owned by private firm Orbital Sciences and under contract with NASA, was supposed to bring supplies to the International Space Station, but instead it exploded just seconds after liftoff October 28. Then, on October 31, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo – planned to be a spacecraft for space tourism – crashed during a test flight, killing one of its two pilots. Investigations are ongoing, and we may soon know what really happened. The incidents deal a huge blow to both programs, costing billions of dollars and setting back research and development by a few years in the case of civilian spaceflight.

Read more about the two incidents on Rappler. Forbes looks into doubts that now cloud the US’s commercial launch strategy. Meanwhile, the BBC asks: Will the SpaceShipTwo crash set back space tourism?

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