Re: "Virgin Galactic has remained tight-lipped over what happened"
From now on, ATC will have the final say over whether the mission must be aborted.
I thought they had a mission control monitoring such things, but I guess I was wrong. That's a bit more cowboy than I expected.
Normally, mission control monitors the trajectory and updates the crew on their abort options - for example the "single engine - Zaragoza" call during Space Shuttle ascent meant if they lost 2 engines, they had enough energy to make it to the strip at Zaragoza, Spain.