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NBC’s Space-Based Reality Series Is Orbiting Disaster Following Virgin Galactic Crash

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virgin galactic

The kind of excitement that humanity’s trek into the cosmos has inspired is a beautiful thing. We’re at a point when government-sponsored NASA isn’t the only thinktank headed into outer space, and the privatized frontier is here. Unfortunately, the trial-and-error process has its downfalls, and this past week has seen two Virgin Galactic crashes occurring, with today’s being the first where someone has died. To be expected, NBC is starting to have second thoughts about its upcoming reality series Space Race, which Virgin’s Richard Branson and producer Mark Burnett were behind.

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Virgin Galactic Test Flight Crashes, Killing One Pilot And Injuring Another, Details Here

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo

Tuesday’s news about Orbital Sciences’ rocket explosion was bad, but the silver lining was that no one got hurt. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the said today. A Virgin Galactic spaceship has crashed in the Mojave Desert, resulting in the death of one pilot and injuries to the other.

This is a developing news story, so more details will come to light after we post this, and we’ll be sure to keep you informed of any developments. Right now, we’re checking a number of different sources trying to round up what know for sure. As with any catastrophe, there is contradictory information out there, and scant information there has been more investigation.

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two Makes Third (And Highest) Test Flight

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Virgin GalacticThe Virgin Galactic doubters are eating their words after their soon-to-be low-Earth orbit spaceship made its third successful test flight on Friday. Each test flight has reached higher altitudes, with Friday’s flight making it 71,000 feet above the Mojave Desert.

Virgin Galactic’s White Knight Two airplane carried the six-passenger spaceship between its hulls to just over 45,000 feet and then released it, leaving the spaceship to use its impressive rocket motor to keep on soaring. The rocket burn lasted 20 seconds, achieving Mach 1.4. That part of the flight lasted 10 minutes, and the two pilots had landed the plane safely in the desert within an hour. Chief pilot David Mackay said that the craft “flew brilliantly.” Virgin Galactic happily tweeted the news, along with some pretty awesome photos.

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Lady Gaga Set To Perform In Space In 2015

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Lady GagaWe probably shouldn’t be too surprised by this. If there were any performer ready to sing in space, it would have to be Lady Gaga. Assuming that everything goes according to plan, she’ll become the first musician to perform in space in early 2015. Well, besides Chris Hadfield that is.

Gaga first hinted at the news on Twitter, where she teased fans with rumors about her upcoming performance:

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NBC’s Space Race Will Give Winners A Ride Aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

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SpaceShipTwoTimes sure have changed. Remember when reality shows were about a bunch of wacky people picked to live together in a house where they could hook up and fight to their hearts’ content? Not anymore. Reality television is now poised to tackle the final frontier, and it’s hard to know whether this is ridiculous, kind of awesome, or simply inevitable. Or maybe all three.

NBC recently announced that, at some yet to be disclosed time, it will air Space Race, a show conceived by Survivor producer/creator and reality show guru Mark Burnett and Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson.

While details about the rules and structure of the show haven’t been released, the basic premise is that “ordinary” people (as opposed to the incredibly rich people who can afford to buy seats at $250,000 a pop on Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceflights) will compete to win a ride to space aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. SpaceShipTwo is about 60 feet long, with a 90-inch-diameter cabin that has room for six passengers and two pilots (no word yet on whether the winner gets to bring a companion on the trip). Best of all, each passenger gets a window seat — two windows, actually, given that this is no airplane.

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Provides A Helluva View From Its Latest Rocket-Powered Test Flight

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It seems like we’ve been talking about “space tourism” for ages now. One of the oldest players in the game is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic…but they still haven’t taken up any of their long list of paying customers, which includes Stephen Hawking, Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, and Brad Pitt. They’re anticipating being able to begin commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo sometime in 2014. I’m guessing few of us reading these words have the disposable cash to book a flight — $250,000 for a ticket — so the above video, taken during one of SpaceShipTwo’s test flights, will either make you marvel at human ingenuity and the beauty of our homeworld…or just really jealous.

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