Thursday, July 24, 2008

Remembering Eric, Todd & Glen: Scaled's Memorial Dedication

With the one year anniversary of the tragedy that hit Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo development program coming up on Saturday, July 26, a ceremony dedicating a memorial plaque was held today at Mojave's Legacy Park. It was one year ago that the close-knit, fastidiously safety concious Scaled community was rocked in a test stand explosion during a nitrous oxide cold flow test, taking the lives of three propulsion teammembers, Eric Blackwell, Todd Ivens and Glen May.

The message on the back of T-shirts worn by most of the Scaled employees pretty much said it all: "Our sorrow is great, yet the dream shall never die!" Burt Rutan addressed the gathered crowd, which included family members of all three men, some who came from as far as Alaska and Tennessee.

Capping the memorial service was a missing-man flyover of four National Test Pilot School Atlas Aermacchi MB-326 Impalas (seen here taking off; I decided to just watch and remember, rather than shoot, during the actual flyover).

On the eve of the big WK2 rollout ceremony, it was really special that before celebrating, Scaled stopped to remember those who had fallen along the way. A tip o' the hat to all who put this service together.