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Sunday, June 20, 2004
The identity of the first private-sector space pilot announced
The identity of the first private-sector space pilot was announced Sunday, as thousands of spectators gathered on the desert town to witness what may be the beginning of a new era in manned spaceflight.
The main event is scheduled for Monday morning, when pilot Mike Melvill will power the SpaceShipOne rocket plane to a height of 62 miles (100 kilometers), the internationally recognized boundary of outer space.
Melvill, 62, is vice president and general manager of Mojave-based Scaled Composites, which built SpaceShipOne and its White Knight carrier airplane. He also piloted the previous test flight, which took the ship to an altitude of 211,400 feet on May 13.
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