Pilots in Virgin Galactic crash were Cal Poly alums

November 3, 2014

cal polyThe two men piloting a test spaceflight that crashed in the Mojave Desert on Friday are Cal Poly alums who graduated from the university’s aerospace engineering program. [KSBY]

Michael Alsbury, 39, and Peter Siebold, 43, were flying the Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise spacecraft when it suffered an in-flight breakup. Alsbury died and Siebold who survived with serious injuries is recovering from surgery performed over the weekend.

Both Alsbury and Siebold worked for Virgin Galactic’s partner company Scaled Composites. Alsbury graduated from Cal Poly in 1998, and Siebold graduated in 2001.

Investigators say a safety device on the spacecraft deployed too early and without command from the pilots, prompting the crash. The device was designed to slow the craft upon reentry into the atmosphere.



  1. Jorge Estrada says:

    Reminds me of Evil Kneevel jumping the Grand Canyon on a rocket cycle (?) and somehow the chute was released before he got to the other side.???? For the space ship, how many G’s + vibration was the latching device designed for? Amazing attempt!

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. tomsquawk says:

    they gave it up. bless them

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down

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