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Monday, June 21, 2004



SpaceShipOne Makes First Private Spaceflight

SpaceShipOne.
SpaceShipOne.
Credit: Scaled Composites
The first private spacecraft flew out of a spaceport in the Mojave Desert today to reach out to the edge of space. The spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, was dropped by its carrier aircraft White Knight at an altitude of 47,000 feet, where it ignited its rocket engine and shot to a height of 62 miles. Although a loud bang was heard during the flight and damage could be seen on the spacecraft upon landing, the company, Scaled Composites, was very pleased and hopes to make another flight soon. Another flight would satisfy the requirements for the X Prize, a US $10 million prize designed to spur the development of space.

Scaled Composites was founded by Burt Rutan, the world-famous designer of the Voyager aircraft, and is heavily funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

(More info: Space.com)


- posted by Brian @ 18:36 EST