The Latest: Branson questioned rocket’s future after crash

MOJAVE, Calif. – The Latest on Virgin Galactic’s new space tourism rocket (all times local):

10:10 a.m.

Sir Richard Branson says he briefly wondered if it was worth continuing his space tourism program following the 2014 accident that destroyed a rocket and killed a pilot.

The Virgin Galactic founder tells The Associated Press that engineers, astronauts and members of the public helped convince him that space travel is too important to give up on.

Branson is at California’s Mojave Air & Space Port for Friday’s unveiling of SpaceShipTwo, the newest version of his company’s tourism rocket.

The 65-year-old says he’s hopeful that during his lifetime paying customers will be taking Virgin Galactic ships on high-speed suborbital flights to the fringes of space.

The first SpaceShipTwo broke apart on Oct. 31, 2014, during its fourth rocket-powered flight.