The NTSB says an examination of telemetry and video recorded onboard SpaceShipTwo show its braking system, in which the tail of the spaceship feathers to slow its descent and keep it belly-down for landing, deployed early. The tail booms shifted upwards seconds after it fired its rocket motor, and before the explosion. The development could shift the investigation away from the motor. Hart, the NTSB’s acting chairman:
What I’m about to say is a statement of fact and not a statement of cause. We are a long way from finding cause. We still have months and months of investigation to do, and there’s a lot that we don’t know. We have extensive data sources to go through.