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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

SpaceShipOne News and Rutan going to orbit sooner than you think!
chabot imageSpaceShipOne Update:

If you missed the flight, you can watch it all over (51 mins, 59 secs), click here to acces the real media file.
And click here to watch SpaceShipOne in space (1 min 50secs, but not constantly a space camera view)

Thanx to KC7RAD who made an xprize chat on the last minute, the link was available on the ANSARI X PRIZE forums; he released the chatlog.
The chat is still open for anyone intrested in chatting about the xprize, but for questions, you better share it with everyone on the forums.

When SpaceShipOne almost reached space, an other record was made, the ANSARI X PRIZE forums got a 67 users online at once, the previous record was a very low 18.

The flight of SpaceShipOne was a historical one, but still a test flight, so not without several anomalies.

Space.com: Private Spaceship Encounters Glitches In Record-Setting Flight

There were tense times during the sky-blistering flight of SpaceShipOne here this morning. Fighting control problems, pilot Mike Melvill wrestled with several anomalies that cut short a pre-planned altitude mark.

At a post-landing press briefing, the 63-year old Melvill described a series of technical snags that haunted his record-setting flight. Right after motor ignition, the pilot said the craft rolled 90 degrees to the left, then 90 degrees to the right. "It has never ever done that before," he explained. Read More

Scaled posted this article on their website: SpaceShipOne Makes History: First Private Manned Mission to Space
The world witnessed the dawn of a new space age today, as investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites launched the first private manned vehicle beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The successful launch demonstrated that the final frontier is now open to private enterprise.

Under the command of test pilot Mike Melvill, SpaceShipOne reached a record breaking altitude of 328,491 feet (approximately 62 miles or 100 km) (Apogee was 100.1241 km), making Melvill the first civilian to fly a spaceship out of the atmosphere and the first private pilot to earn astronaut wings.

This flight begins an exciting new era in space travel,” said Paul G. Allen, sole sponsor in the SpaceShipOne program. “Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites are part of a new generation of explorers who are sparking the imagination of a huge number of people worldwide and ushering in the birth of a new industry of privately funded manned space flight.” Read More

Scaled also reports that you can get official SpaceShipOne merchandise at: www.rocketboosters.org

Joan Horvath sent in this first hand report on the SpaceShipOne flight to hobbyspace.com.
hobbyspace.com notes: BTW: Joan will be on the Space Show this Sunday, June 27, 12-1:30pm Pacific Time. See the Space Show Newsletter for a biography of Joan. Tune in online at Live365.

spaceflightnow.com has a very detailed article about the SpaceShipOne event:
SpaceShipOne rockets into history
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, also was on hand to greet the new astronaut "and to have him come up and shake my hand and congratulate me and tell me I'd joined the club, that was serious stuff, man," Melvill said. Click here to read A lot more about the event

Alan's Mojave weblog latest update include a lot of very nice pictures from the event.

Also rocketforge.org has pictures of the event, including one with Peter Diamandis (President of the ANSARI X PRIZE foundation) walking down the Mojave flight line.
Also Richard Branson was spotted at the event, Richard will make an announcement soon for his space tourism project (maybe he'll join up with scaled ?) you can speculate over here.

Maybe Allen and Sir Richard will join up for Tier 2 and Tier 3 ?
This article in the Popular Science mentions Burt Rutan his intentions to make a Tier 2 and Tier3!
After winning the X-Prize, Rutan will quickly move on to other challenges. During press conferences leading up to Monday's flights, he dropped hints about "going to orbit sooner than you think," an apparent allusion to the Tier 3 orbital space-vehicle program that he is reportedly involved in. The SpaceShipOne program is known as Tier 1, and Tier 2 would probably be a tour-bus-like version of the same concept, a vehicle capable of carrying up to 10 passengers on suborbital space flights. Under his contract with Allen, Rutan is required to deliver data on how much such a vehicle would cost to build and fly. Mojave Aerospace--a new company jointly owned by Allen and Rutan and disclosed this week--will own the rights to SpaceShipOne technology and would oversee future franchising and commercialization efforts for the system. Details will remain secret, said the cagey Rutan, "until we're ready to push something out of the door." Read the whole article

A few related News articles: (links from spacetoday.net)
spacedaily.com: New Entrants Versus Incumbents: Triumph of Truth and Technology
seattlepi.nwsource.com: The Captain Kirk of fiction relishes real spaceflight
borderlandnews.com: Spacecraft takes NM's hopes with it
news.ft.com: Enter the age of the day trip to space
newscientist.com: 'Anomalies' in first private spaceflight revealed
nature.com: SpaceShipOne scrapes into history

You can post or share your thaughts related to this news post on the ANSARI X PRIZE forum


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