CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - A suborbital passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic crashed during a test flight on Friday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, officials said. Two pilots were aboard the spaceship, which was undergoing its first powered test flight since January. It was not immediately known if they were able to parachute to safety. On Tuesday, Orbital Sciences suffered a high-profile rocket launch explosion after liftoff from Wallops Island, Virginia. (Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by David Adams and James Dalgleish)
Discount retail chain Dollar General extended its nearly $10 billion hostile bid for rival Family Dollar Friday in hopes that Family Dollar's shareholders will vote down its planned merger with another firm. Dollar General said the $80-a-share offer it made at the beginning of September will remain alive to the end of the year, enough to span Family Dollar's December 11 special shareholders meeting, called to vote on selling the company to smaller rival Dollar Tree. Family Dollar has twice brushed off friendly Dollar General proposals in favor of Dollar Tree's $74.50-a-share bid, arguing in part that a merger with Dollar General could be blocked by US antitrust regulators.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo craft suffered an "anomaly" during a test flight over California on Friday, the commercial space flight operator announced on its Twitter feed. The craft, which is still in its test phase and which normally carries two pilots, had been carried aloft on a bigger aircraft known as WhiteKnightTwo and then released for a test of its rocket engine. "SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly. WhiteKnightTwo had taken off normally from California's Mojave desert, and been released normally, in what was the 35th such flight.