Despite the fatal turn, officials urged that the incident not derail the future for the space flight industry.
"Stay the course, this business is worthy business, this is not easy," Stuart Witt, the chief executive of the Mojave Air and Space Port, said at a media conference. "To the new people involved with this, get involved, be inquisitive, challenge, don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. We're doing this for you, and for your generation ... It's a cause far greater than any one of us singularly.
"Space is hard, and today was a tough day," said George Whitesides, CEO and President of Virgin Galactic. "The future rests in many ways on hard, hard days like this, but we believe we owe it to the folks who were flying these vehicles ... to understand this and to move forward, which is what we'll do."
Still, Witt said, the space flight community suffered a painful loss on Friday.
"When we have a mishap from the test community, we find the test community is very small, and we are human, and it hurts," Witt said.
The NTSB told CNBC it is monitoring the crash, and are working to gather details.
"Just after 10 a.m. PDT today, ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo, an experimental space flight vehicle. The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after the space flight vehicle separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carried it aloft," the Federal Aviation Administration wrote in a statement. "Two crew members were on board SpaceShipTwo at the time of the incident. WhiteKnightTwo remained airborne after the incident. The FAA is investigating."