Mojave, Calif. (UPI) Aug 20, 2010
The mother ship jet designed to launch suborbital space tourist flights was damaged upon landing in California when a landing gear collapsed, officials said.
Officials with Scaled Composites, the Mojave, Calif., company that built the twin-fuselage carrier plane, said a mechanical problem with the left main landing gear on the Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo jet caused the "minor incident," SPACE.com reported Friday.
Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration examined the plane after the Thursday landing in which no injuries were reported.
"Two FAA inspectors were on scene to examine the aircraft," Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the FAA, said. "The left main landing gear was damaged. This appears at this time to be an incident and not an accident."
The runway incident did not involve Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, the suborbital passenger-carrying spacecraft that will be carried into launch position at about 50,000 feet by WhiteKnightTwo.
The landing came at the end of the plane's 37th test flight.
WhiteKnightTwo has been flying since December 2008.
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Argentina plans to join Space Age
Buenos Aires (UPI) Aug 16, 2010
Argentina is developing satellite-launching capability with the hope of garnering some of the new business currently going to China. Several of Argentina's neighbors are in the process of launching satellites with Chinese help, and others are actively considering an early entry into the Space Age. Although Argentina, too, has signed up for space cooperation with China, officials said th ... read more
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