Space travel is dangerous. There will be no tourists.

Posted on Friday, October 31st, 2014

On September 17, 1908, Army Lt. Thomas Selfridge made the fateful decision to get into an airplane with Orville Wright. It made sense for him to go: The Army had a deal to buy one of the Wright Brothers’ planes, and Selfridge had designed and piloted a plane of his own a few months earlier. Wright had already taken two other officers for a spin without incident, and the first four circuits he took with Selfridge of Fort Myer, Virginia, went fine

But on the fifth loop around, the right propeller cracked, hit one of the plane’s guy wires, and shattered. Despite Wright’s best efforts to glide down, the plane smashed into the ground. He suffered serious injuries. Selfridge suffered a skull fracture and died that night — the first ever fatality in the history of powered aviation. He was 26 Read more…

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