Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship Two spacecraft crashed in the Mojave Desert today, killing one and injuring another.
Amid all the clamoring for the FAA to get involved, it’s worth recalling the death of Thomas Selfridge, who died, aged 26, in the Fort Myer plane crash in 1908.
The Wright brothers were demoing their aircraft for the War Department as part of a several week tour of their equipment.
President Teddy Roosevelt even wanted to fly with them but Orville Wright decided against it. “I have heard the report that President Roosevelt wants to ascend with me. I’m sorry, I don’t think the President of the United States should take such chances. Of course, flying in the air is as safe as riding in a streetcar, but there are accidents that might happen. Aside from my relatives, such an accident to me would mean nothing, but the Nation would be the sufferer if the President was injured or killed.”
Orville was wounded while Selfridge was killed. But manned air flight continued. The future belongs to the brave.