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Saturday, June 19, 2004
space.com: Monday's Private Spaceflight: Historical Milestone or Stunt Flying?
A privately built rocket plane is ready to streak through the sky over Mojave, California desert on June 21. Project officials herald it as the first non-governmental piloted flight to leave the Earth's atmosphere.
Built by Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, SpaceShipOne is set to become the world’s first commercial manned space vehicle. Investor and philanthropist Paul Allen and aviation technologist Burt Rutan, head of Scaled Composites, have teamed to create the program.
If all goes according to plan, the hybrid motor-propelled rocket plane will carry its pilot some 62 miles (100 kilometers) into suborbital space above the Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center, a commercial airport in the California desert. Gliding to a landing strip stop, "it will signal that the space frontier is finally open to private enterprise," explains a Scaled Composites release about the flight. Read More
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