Mojave Desert, CA --Friday morning, the Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two came crashing down to earth, shortly after the craft separated from the plane that carried it some 50,000 feet into the air.
"Space is hard, and today was a tough day," George Whitesides with Virgin Galactic said during a press conference.
Two pilots were on board that test flight- one died, the other was seriously hurt. The wreckage was strewn in California`s Mojave Desert.
"When we have a mishap from the test community, we discover the test community is very small. We`re human and it hurts. Our hearts, thoughts, prayers are absolutely with the family and the victims," Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stuart Witt said.
The company called the incident an 'in-flight anomaly' and announced it on Twitter. The NTSB is now investigating.
Virgin was planning to launch its extra-planetary expeditions in 2015, and fly customers to outer space. The company sold more than 700-tickets, many to stars like Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber and Lance Bass.
The crash could be a blow to billionaire Richard Branson`s space program.
"People risk at lot to get space off the ground in the first place, but unless you risk something, the world, you know, stays, stays still," Branson said.
Earlier this week, a launchpad explosion in Virginia involved another private company`s spacecraft.