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Fri, Aug 20, 2010

WhiteKnightTwo Slightly Damaged In Landing Incident

Scaled Composites Says There Was A Mechanical Problem With Left Landing Gear

WhiteKnightTwo, which is designed to serve as the launch platform for Virgin Galactic's Spaceship Two, was slightly damaged Thursday morning when the aircraft had what was described by Scaled Composites as a mechanical problem with its left main landing gear. There were no injuries reported due to the incident, which occurred about 1115 PDT at the Mojave Air And Spaceport.

In a statement on its website, Scaled Composites said only that "A minor incident occurred on the runway at Mojave airport this morning, which involved a mechanical problem with the left hand-side landing gear of WhiteKnightTwo. No injuries were sustained and the incident did not involve the Spaceship which was not attached to WhiteKnightTwo.  WhiteKnightTwo was on its 37th test flight, and has been flying since December 2008."


WhiteKnightTwo With SpaceShipTwo Attached

MSNBC reports that FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said that "the left main landing gear is damaged, but we don't yet know if that is the extent of the damage."

Virgin Galactic is not expected to begin carrying passengers on board SpaceShip Two until next year, though 300 people have reportedly already paid at least a portion of the $200,000 price of a ticket.

FMI: www.scaled.com

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