Richard Branson space flight: Live updates

With all the intense physics of hitting Mach 3 and ripping through the Earth’s atmosphere, something can always go wrong during spaceflight.

And Virgin Galactic has prepped SpaceShipTwo for quite a few contingencies.

During this test flight, all four of the passengers will be suited up with parachutes — just in case, Virgin Galactic President Mike Moses told CNN Business’ Rachel Crane.

And if the cabin loses pressure, both of the pilots will be wearing oxygen masks to ensure they don’t lose consciousness. And the space plane is carrying a load of extra oxygen that can be used to pump the cabin full of air even if a leak is sprung, Moses said.

“We have enough onboard air to feed a leak, four times over,” he said. “Then, our air-launch system lets us actually check for those leaks before we release it in the first place. So if we take off, and we see that we’ve developed a leak, we just don’t release [SpaceShipTwo] from the mothership. We come back home.”

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