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SCI/TECH: US FAA grants licence to Scaled Composites for SpaceShipOne rocket-plane

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posted on Apr, 8 2004 @ 06:01 AM

"Affordable space travel will be available within 10 years." After learning from the Federal Aviation Administration that he had won the suborbital licence, Mr Rutan said: "I strongly feel that, if we are successful, our programme will mark the beginning of a renaissance for manned space flight." The license clears the way for an attempt on the X-prize later this year.

Source: BBC News

The Scaled Composites craft consists of a rocket plane, dubbed SpaceShipOne, and the White Knight, an exotic jet designed to carry it aloft for a high-altitude launch. SpaceShipOne, made of graphite and epoxy, has short wings and twin vertical tails. It reached 12.9 miles in a trial flight; the license will allow the spacecraft to reach the edge of space, about 60 miles up.

The X-prize of $10m (£5.4m) is for the first privately funded, non-governmental body that can launch a three-person craft into space twice in two weeks.

To claim the prize SpaceShipOne will have to reach an altitude of 100 km, the "official" boundary of space.

Hopefully we will see Burt claim that prize before the year is out!

SpaceShipOne + White Knight launch plane:

[Edited on 8-4-2004 by Zion Mainframe]


posted on Apr, 9 2004 @ 04:34 AM
And today they did there 2nd powered flight. They got space ship one up to 105,000 feet with a 40 second burn, reaching a speed of mach 2.

posted on Apr, 9 2004 @ 08:13 AM
Excellent news! I hope that the private space industry begins to flourish... perhaps it'll provide an incentive for the government to fund NASA more properly.


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