Spacecraft Brake May Have Torn It Apart in Seconds at Mach 1

November 4, 2014 7:58 PM

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The air rushing past Virgin Galactic Ltd. SpaceShipTwo’s braking system may have torn the spacecraft apart seconds after launch as the ship traveled at the speed of sound.

The system on SpaceShipTwo’s tail, designed to slow the craft’s reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, moved into position after a pilot unlocked the brake before he was supposed to, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

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