Trevor Beattie, who studied in Wolverhampton and was born in Birmingham, paid £100,000 to be one of the first to travel to space with Sir Richard Branson's company.
He shared his grief on Twitter after a a prototype rocket crashed during a test flight in California, killing one pilot and injuring another.
The craft had been flying over the Mojave Desert when it exploded at 45,000ft on Friday.
It was the ship's first powered test flight since January.
Virgin said the craft had suffered 'a serious anomaly'.
Sir Richard Branson flew to California after the news broke and said he was 'shocked and saddened' by the 'tragic loss'.
In a blog post, he wrote: "All our thoughts are with the families of everyone affected by this tragic event. We've always known that the road to space is extremely difficult - and that every new transportation system has to deal with bad days early in their history."
Peter Siebold, the director of flight operations at Scaled Composites, was piloting SpaceShipTwo when it crashed in the Mojave desert in California on Friday. He was injured in the crash and is now said to be 'alert and talking'.
His co-pilot Michael Alsbury was killed.
Officials from the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) have started their investigation into what caused SpaceShipTwo rocket to come down.
Christopher Hart of the NTSB said the investigation at the scene - which spans five miles - could take between four and seven days.
He added that six cameras were on board the aircraft, although could not say whether all had been recovered.
Mr Hart said they have "extensive data" available to them as test flights are "heavily documented" in ways other flights are not.
He confirmed one parachute was found near where the survivor pilot was found, while the other had remained "undeployed".