Video of Fourth NTSB Briefing on Scaled Composites Accident

Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart’s Fourth Briefing on Crash of SpaceShipTwo in Mojave, Calif.

  • Am I missing something here. A piece of the wing is so large, they “have” to cut it up? Is this wing in an inaccessible valley or something. Just seems “odd” that they would have to cut it up.

  • Douglas Messier

    I think he was referring to the large piece of the back of the spacecraft that came down largely intact (minus the tail booms). That included the nitrous tank, rocket casing, nozzle, etc. It separated from the crew cabin.

    It is a very big chunk of wreckage that is lying among the sage brush near Koehn Lake. I don’t know exactly where it is, but a lot of that area is not very accessible. You have dirt roads and paved ones that are not very wide and have thinks like utility poles running along them. The nearest multi-lane road is Highway 14, which is likely several miles away.

  • Hug Doug

    i’d imagine the alternative is having to rent a heavy-lift helicopter to try to pick it up all in one piece. it might not be structurally sound enough for that, and it would probably incur too much time and expense to plan and do. i’m sure they want to get as much of the wreckage as they can to a hangar so they can lay it out and study it, as soon as possible.