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Tuesday, April 22, 2003

chabot imageThe X PRIZE took another step into the history books this past weekend when famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan unveiled his future manned spacecraft, a space-faring vehicle called SpaceShipOne. At a media event in Mojave, California on Friday, April 18, more than 300 guests witnessed what Rutan has labeled the "world's first private space program."
Burt Rutan was the first person to register for the X PRIZE, shortly after its formation in May 1996. "The X PRIZE was our main inspiration for building SpaceShipOne," stated Rutan. "Our goal is to be the first private spaceship to fly private astronauts to 100KM. I hope our progress will inspire others to follow in our footsteps."
"We're going to space because that's where the view is," continued Rutan. "This event is not about dreams, predictions or mockups. We are showing actual flight hardware: an aircraft for high-altitude airborne launch, a flight-ready manned spaceship, a new, ground-tested rocket propulsion system and much more. This is not just the development of another research aircraft, but a complete manned space program with all its support elements." Read More

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

chabot imageStarchaser Industries successfully test fired their Churchill Mark 2 bi-propellant liquid rocket engine.
The liquid oxygen/kerosene powered system generated 2,200 kilograms (app. 4,800 pounds) of thrust for 15 seconds.
Liquid propulsion project leader Anthony Haynes said, "The test was 100% successful, the engine performed exactly as predicted"
Starchaser's Churchill Mark 2 engine, once validated, will be used on Starchaser's X PRIZE vehicle, the Thunderbird. Starchaser's Churchill Mark 2 test represents the largest engine of its kind to be fired in the UK in over 20 years.
Starchaser plans to continue testing the Churchill Mark 2, for longer periods of time, building up to a full three tons of thrust.
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