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SCI/TECH: SpaceShipOne to blast offs June 21

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posted on Jun, 2 2004 @ 03:47 PM

SpaceShipOne will launch into history on June 21 on a mission to become the world's first commercial manned space vehicle. The pilot of the craft, still to be announced, will become the first person to earn astronaut wings in a non-government sponsored vehicle, and the first private civilian to fly a spaceship out of the atmosphere.

That's the word on Wednesday from Scaled Composites in the Mojave, California desert -- designer and builder of SpaceShipOne. The announcement is the first time the group has pre-announced a high-altitude run of its piloted rocketship.

SpaceShipOne will rocket to 62 miles (100 kilometers) into sub-orbital space above the Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center, a commercial airport in the California desert. If successful, "it will signal that the space frontier is finally open to private enterprise," explained a Scaled Composites release.

Today's announcement follows SpaceShipOne's successful May 13 test flight. That flight had pilot Mike Melvill hitting the engine-start button to reach a height of 211,400 feet (approximately 40 miles). That's the highest altitude ever reached by a non-government aerospace program.

Unlike any previous manned space mission, the June flight will allow the public to view, up close, the takeoff and landing as well as the overhead rocket boost to space. This will be an historic and unique spectator opportunity.

Information for the general public on attending the event is available at

The launch is set for June 21, with plans calling for taxi out to the runway of SpaceShipOne's carrier plane, the White Knight, at 6:30 a.m. local time.

Source: CNN website

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SpaceShipOne program

SpaceShipOne + White Knight launch plane:

[Edited on 3-6-2004 by Zion Mainframe]

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