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Photo via Virgin Galactic
Photo via Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson updated the Virgin Galactic blog today with news of what’s going on with the company’s second SpaceShipTwo.

Virgin suffered a tragic setback last fall, when its first SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight, killing one of the two pilots. The accident is believed to be due to pilot error.

“Despite the challenges of last year, we are undeterred in our commitment to achieving our goals,” Branson writes. “Virgin Galactic is not just about taking people up to space, but also about connecting space to Earth. We believe that exploring space will make life better on Earth – a broader perspective is crucial to solving our planet’s greatest challenges.”

Branson says that Virgin Galactic’s vision of “creating the world’s first commercial spaceline and operating a fleet of vehicles” remains undeterred. The second ship is being built and tested by Virgin-owned The Spaceship Company. Branson did not reveal an official finish date, but he says 2015 is “shaping up to be an amazing year,” with several other initiatives, including starting construction on a third SpaceShipTwo, in play.

You can watch more behind-the-scenes construction footage of SpaceShipTwo here:

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