It’s been all over the news since yesterday that one of Virgin Galactic’s test planes, SpaceShipTwo crashed yesterday, killing one pilot and severely injuring another. In addition to the human toll of this accident, it will also be a serious setback to the development of commercial space transportation. A full investigation into what happened and why should lead to improvements in the safety of these prototype spacecraft. Any serious accident is a major problem for commercial spaceflight, so this may very well set back any potential commercial operations by years. If anyone hopes to operate commercial spaceflights, the technology needs to be extremely safe. Hopefully, Richard Branson is truly interested in building a viable company based on viable, reliable technology and not just a vanity project to get himself and his friends to space.