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Blast at desert spaceport kills 3

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article in CNN _http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/27/spaceport.blast/index.html?iref=newssearch_
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 27, 2007
      URL to an article in CNN

      I hope the govt. and environmentalists don't use this as an excuse to shut
      down the private space program.

      First few paragraphs
      LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A third person died Friday from an
      explosion at a rocket test pad operated by a private company in California's southern
      Mojave Desert, according to the nursing supervisor at Kern Medical Center in

      A bird's eye view of the scene in Mojave, California, shows charred wreckage
      and large pieces of debris.

      1 of 2


      The explosion, which occurred Thursday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in
      Mojave, California, initially killed two people and critically injured four
      On Friday three people remained hospitalized -- two in critical condition,
      one in serious condition.
      The six were employed by _Scaled Composites_
      (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/scaled_composites_llc) , an aerospace development company founded 25 years ago
      by _Burt Rutan_ (http://topics.cnn.com/topics/burt_rutan) , the aerospace
      engineer who designed the first plane to fly nonstop around the world without
      According to Rutan, the blast occurred during a test involving nitrous oxide
      flowing through fuel injectors. A source said the workers were testing
      components of a new rocket motor for SpaceShipTwo, which is a spaceship being
      built for Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson's space tourism company.
      "We were doing a test that we believed was completely safe. ... We don't know
      why it exploded," said Rutan, who was not at the site at the time of the
      accident. _Watch the aftermath of the explosion »_
      The explosion happened during a "cold fire test," he said.
      A spokeswoman for the space port, which is about 80 miles north of Los
      Angeles, said the blast was on a remote pad and that the area had been contained.
      Aerial video of the blast aftermath showed a charred and twisted flatbed
      trailer attached to a truck cab with a large silver tank next to it. Large
      pieces of debris appeared to be strewn for hundreds of yards from the center.
      Rutan won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004 for the first repeat sub-orbital space
      flight with his pioneering SpaceShipOne.
      SpaceShipTwo is a small carbon fiber craft designed to carry seven passengers
      up to 65 miles above the earth, traveling at a speed of about 12,000 mph. A
      ticket for such a ride was expected to cost $200,000."


      (entropy always wins)

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