Almost all parts of the US SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, which crashed in the Mojave Desert last week, were found, CNN reported Monday citing the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Almost all parts of the spacecraft necessary for investigation were found, but the investigators were “a long way from finding a cause. We are months and months away,” CNN quoted NTSB’s Acting Chairman Christopher Hart as saying.
According to the NTSB, the preliminary investigation showed that the lock-unlock lever was moved earlier than planned. Nevertheless, it is still unclear whether this was the pilots’ fault or a technical problem.
The accident severely injured one pilot, Peter Siebold, and killed another pilot, Michael Alsbury.
On October 31, the US suborbital spaceship crashed during test flight in the Mojave Desert due to a serious anomaly. Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are currently investigating the cause of the accident, but a full inquiry will take up to 12 months.
The crash of the SpaceShipTwo was the second major space vehicle accident in the United States occurring within the last week. Last Tuesday, the Antares spacecraft that was carrying cargo to the International Space Station crashed only six seconds after launching from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.