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Branson determined to find cause of Virgin spaceship crash, pilots identified

By Lucy Nicholson and Irene Klotz

MOJAVE Calif./CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson on Saturday vowed to find out what caused his space tourism company’s passenger spaceship to crash during a test flight, killing one pilot and injuring the other, but expressed a desire to press on with the dream of commercial space flight.

Michael Alsbury, 39, has been identified as the pilot who died in the crash of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, and the surviving pilot is Peter Siebold, 43, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.