It has been a very bad week for the emerging private space industry. First, on 28 October one of Orbital Science Corps’ unmanned Antares rockets, intended to resupply the International Space Station, blew up six seconds after launch.
Then, just 3 days later, Virgin Galactic’s manned SpaceShipTwo broke apart during a test flight, killing one pilot and severely injuring the other.
It’s too early to draw any definitive lessons from either accident, but at the very least, the coincidence of the timing is rather unfortunate.
Does anyone have any views on these accidents, and their likely impact on the emerging private space industry?