Richard Branson defends space-travel program after crash

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave Desert on Friday on a test flight, leaving Branson and his company in a PR crisis like few others.

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Aside from those who work for national space agencies, very few executives and communicators have had to publicly explain the deadly crash of a spacecraft.

Yet that was the issue facing Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic brand over the weekend. The company’s SpaceShipTwo crashed on a test flight in the Mojave Desert on Friday, killing a pilot and injuring another.

In a Saturday press conference, Branson said news of the crash is unlikely to scare away the 700 or so customers who have paid a whopping $250,000 each to essentially take a vacation in space. However, he also went out of his way to acknowledge that “we fell short” and would correct mistakes.

“We’re not going to push on blindly,” he said, according to Mashable. “We’re going to learn from what went wrong.”

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