Death Toll Grows At Scaled Composites Rocket Accident

Everything about this story is so amazingly sad to me; one of my personal heroes (and secret loves) is Jack Parsons. Last week there was a rocket test accident at Southern California’s Scaled Composites, who was doing private work for Virgin Galactic (SpaceShip Two for VG; SpaceShip One was funded by Paul Allen). Two people died instantly and four were injured; in an awful development, another rocket science nerd has died. Snip:

Authorities on Friday identified three workers who were killed in an explosion on the edge of Kern County’s Mojave airport during the test of a component for a pioneering private spaceship.
The men, all employees of Scaled Composites, were identified as Eric Dean Blackwell, 38, of Randsburg; Charles Glen May, 45, of Mojave; and Todd Ivens, 33, of Tehachapi. All three died of multiple blunt-force injuries suffered in the explosion, said John Van Rensselaer, a Kern County supervising deputy coroner.
Three other men were also badly injured in Thursday’s blast at a private test site run by Scaled Composites, which was founded by high-profile aviation entrepreneur Burt Rutan.
Rutan said it was the first injury during a test in the company’s 25-year history. The men remain in critical but stable condition and are expected to survive.

Link (with video).

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