Monday, October 04, 2004

SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X-Prize!!!

X-Prize Captured

I'm so happy about this!

I have so much respect for Paul Allen. If I had the money he had, I'd be doing the same thing! He's into good music, science, technology and science fiction. ...a man after my own heart!

... and now $10 Million dollars for further development! We may get those flying cars yet!

More from NY Times...
The tiny ship, a sleek combination of rocket and glider designed by the engineer Burt Rutan and financed by the billionaire Paul G. Allen, soared beyond an altitude of 62 miles, the arbitrary line that is widely accepted as the beginning of space.

In a champagne-popping ceremony held on the runway when the spaceship returned from its flight, organizers of the Ansari X Prize, a space competition modeled on the great contests of the early days of aviation, said SpaceShipOne had broken a barrier. Under the rules of the competition, the winners must take a pilot and two passengers, or the equivalent weight, to an altitude of at least 100 kilometers twice within two weeks by the end of this year. This was SpaceShipOne's third flight into space this year, but most importantly it was its second in five days.

"We are at the birth of a new era, the age of personal space flight," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, who founded the X Prize eight years ago.

SpaceShipOne's journey into space today began shortly before 7 a.m.Pacific time, when it was carried to an altitude of nearly 50,000 feet by its mother plane, the White Knight, which released it at 7:49 a.m. The pilot, Brian Binnie, lit the experimental rocket motor, which burns a combination of rubber and nitrous oxide, and ran the motor for its full planned duration of nearly 90 seconds.

The craft reached an altitude of 368,000 feet, or 69.7 miles, some 7 miles higher than the arbitrary 100-kilometer line that is widely accepted as the beginning of space, and the minimum goal for the X Prize. That also far surpassed the previous flight altitude record for an air-launched craft, 354,000 feet reached by the government's X-15 in 1963.

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