Virgin Galactic pilot recounts how he survived being ejected at 50,000 ft

Virgin Galactic pilot recounts how he survived being ejected at 50,000 feet

When Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed in late October, the corporate attributed the loss to an unidentified “critical anomaly.” Now, because of the continued investigation by the Nationwide Transportation Security Board, we lastly have a clearer image of what occurred 9 miles up within the air that day. In accordance with surviving pilot Peter Siebold, the spacecraft disintegrated round his seat whereas it was flying at 50,000 ft, virtually twice the peak of Mt. Everest. The temperature at that altitude is often under freezing level, round minus 70 levels Fahrenheit, and any human with out an oxygen masks would cross out resulting from lack of strain. Since Siebold wasn’t sporting a spacesuit on the time, that is precisely what occurred to him, although he managed to unbuckle his seatbelt sooner or later earlier than his parachute mechanically opened.

A earlier NTSB investigation factors to the untimely unlocking of SpaceShipTwo’s feather re-entry system as one of many potential causes of the crash. Siebold advised authorities he wasn’t conscious that co-pilot Michael Alsbury, who sadly did not survive, unlocked SpaceShipTwo’s feather braking system sooner than meant. This braking/re-entry technique turns the spacecraft’s tail upward with a view to sluggish and stabilize its descent. In response to the investigation, Alsbury solely unlocked the primary lever and left the second untouched, however the winds tore the spacecraft aside anyway.

As for Siebold, an aerospace physiologist referred to as his survival “extraordinarily exceptional.” Individuals do not often survive such harsh temperature and strain circumstances, they usually often come out of the ordeal completely broken once they do.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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