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December 18, 2003

One big step closer

According to a press release published on their website, Burt Rutan's X-Prize entry achieved a major milestone on December 17, the 100th anniversary of the Wright brother's first flight.

The SpaceShipOne rocket vehicle was released from the White Knight mothership at 48,000 feet, it fired its rocket engine, and climbed to 68,000 feet, then glided to safe landing at Mojave Airport in California.

This is a major step forward in Rutan's program to win the X-Prize by building a privately funded craft that can take three people to space, return them safely, and then repeat the trip within a few weeks.

SpaceShipOne experienced a partial landing gear failure on landing rollout. In their release, Scaled Composites, the makers of the craft, reported, "Damage from the landing incident was minor and will easily be repaired. There were no injuries."

This is very cool, and more than makes up for the unsuccessful Wright Flyer re-creation at Kitty Hawk.

Posted by jghiii at December 18, 2003 02:43 AM
Posted by: dave on December 18, 2003 12:54 PM

Another F'in Awesome event.
Did not know that the Wright Flyer re-creation at Kitty Hawk was unsuccessful.

See there is good info at this web site to keep some of us up to date with what intersts us.

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