Pilot Killed in Virgin Galactic Aircraft Crash

Scientists and others involved in the private space industry wait for more details on what went wrong.
2:57 | 11/01/14

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Transcript for Pilot Killed in Virgin Galactic Aircraft Crash
And let's take a look at virgin galactic's $500 million experimental spacecraft, the brainchild of the british billionaire Richard Branson. His dream is to take high income passengers including celebrities like Leo Dicaprio and Katy Perry on a journey to the edge of space. But those a-listers may want to reconsider when they see this. The debris field after the spaceship exploded killing one of the test pilots even more devastating this is the second disaster to hit the private space industry this week alone after that rocket exploded on takeoff in Virginia just a few days ago and ABC's David Kerley is in Washington with more. David. Reporter: Good morning, Paula. This morning ntsb investigators and Richard Branson are set to arrive in mojave, California, trying to figure out what happened in this second private space accident this week. These photos capture the very end, the release from the mothership and moments later debris from spaceshiptwo. The craft starting to break up during its fourth powered flight all falling to Earth, a parachute, scattered debris, one pilot severely injured carried to a helicopter. There was a second chute deployed. Reporter: The second pilot died. Space is hard and today was a tough day. Reporter: This an earlier test flight. The mother ship carries a spacecraft at 50,000 feet releases it and it fires its own rocket part of the dream of Richard Branson to take a half dozen passengers at a time to the edge of space. He has deposits already on 700 ticks including some of Hollywood's elite. Pitt, Jolie, Perry, Dicaprio. In a statement he said traveling to mojave is one of the most difficult trips I've ever had to make but he wants to be with the teams, quote, now in shock at this devastating loss. Observers say the rocket wasn't getting the craft high enough. This flight was the first to use a new fuel, which it only been tested on the ground. Obviously it failed spectacularly. Reporter: Joelle glen Brenner documented the press Seder spaceshiptwo and know many who work on the program. They were concerned about the pace of the program. Reporter: This was the second serious setback this week for the commercial space industry. Tuesday a private cargo rocket exploded seconds after liftoff. After the failure of spaceshiptwo, what will those Hollywood stars and hundreds of others this morning think about riding that rocket? Customers weren't necessarily paying attention. I think this might have been a wake-up call to them. David, for decades the space race has been littered with mishaps and even deaths and yet we have persisted time and again. Do you think the private space exploration business can survive these twin disasters. Reporter: Experts say that's the way we're headed Dan. We will probably see more Mish mishaps like this in the future because rocket science isn't easy but this will probably not be stopped. David, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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