Richard Branson has a group of people very interested in his recent flight into space aboard his Virgin Galactic ShapceShipTwo; the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA is looking into what exactly happened on the rocket powered plane that made it veer off course.
The New Yorker first reported that warning lights had shown up on the space ship’s dashboard because it was veering off into a wayward trajectory.
At first, Virgin Galactic tried to downplay the story in the New Yorker, but a spokesman later told CNN that the trajectory of the flight did in fact change. Here’s part of what Barney Gimbel told CNN Business.
“When the glide cone message indicated that the pilots should modify the flight path to adjust the trajectory, our pilots did exactly as they were trained and followed the procedures. Unity 22 was a safe and successful test flight that adhered to our flight procedures and training protocols. When the vehicle encountered high altitude winds which changed the trajectory, the pilots and systems monitored the trajectory to ensure it remained within mission parameters.”
Virgin Galactic went on to say that even though the space ship dropped below the altitude it was supposed to be at for a minute and 41 seconds, it never got close to populated areas or put people on the ground at risk.
“At no time did the ship travel above any population centers or cause a hazard to the public.FAA representatives were present in our control room during the flight and in post-flight debriefs. We are working in partnership with the FAA to address the airspace for future flights.”
Back in a 2014 test flight for Virgin Galactic, a pilot was killed and another badly injured.
No word if this latest issue will slow down plans to fly wealthy civilians into space.