Meanwhile Peter Siebold, the sole survivor of the SpaceShip Two accident is still recovering at the hospital from a surgery on his shoulder, he was able to declare to NTSB investigators that he was thrown away from the vehicle when it disintegrated, he added that at some point during his free fall he unbuckled from his seat and the parachute deployed automatically.
The NTSB has evidence that the craft deployed its shuttlecock-like wings just as it approached Mach .1, the system is not suposed to be unlocked until the craft reaches M 1.4, however copilot Mike Alsbury could be seen on an inflight video unlocking the wings before the vehicle reached Mach 1, apparently at the wrong moment. Two seconds later the vehicle exploded.
Not blaming completely to Alsbury, the NTSB says that the wings could have deployed because of aerodynamic forces, the agency continues its investigation on the forces that act on the vehicle during flight.
Still there will be several months of investigation ahead for the National Transportation Safety Board to decipher the causes of SpaceShipTwo’s fatal crash in the Mojave desert last Friday.
What the NTSB hasn’t been able to begin to answer, however, is the question of how pilot Peter Siebold was able to escape the explosion. How did he stay conscious without an oxygen mask or spacesuit in the freezing cold, dangerously airless upper atmosphere, or how did he survive what appears to be a 40,000 feet free fall before deploying his parachute at around 20,000 feet above the ground.