3 June 2004
News - Tourism (Good)
On The Way!
SpaceShipOne to Reach for Space on June 21
by Patrick Collins
Scaled Composites has announced that SpaceShipOne will make its first flight to space on June 21, 2004 – a date that will live in the history of space flight along with those of other epoch-making flights, such as the first ever flight to space, by Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, and the first private flight to space, by Dennis Tito on April 28, 2001.

By announcing in advance their intention to make the first private spaceflight, and by inviting the world’s media to Mojave to witness the event, Scaled Composites show their confidence in the performance of SpaceShipOne.

Having reached Mach 1, Mach 2, and 60 kilometres altitude respectively in just 3 flights, SpaceShipOne has already done what took aerospace companies years, many different vehicles, and several pilots’ lives to do 50 years ago. The vehicle’s three powered flights have also shown the radical cost reductions that are possible in space flight if that is your intention: the total project cost of some $20-30 million is about what Nasa spends every day before lunch. It's also about 1/1,000 of the cost of the USA’s first sub-orbital space flight, using an expendable vehicle.

So with a bit of luck, SpaceShipOne’s first flight to space will help to force the reality of these low costs into the world’s consciousness – leading eventually to the end of the farce of taxpayers paying $20 billion/year for government space activities that neither have much economic value in themselves, nor are helping to reduce the costs of getting to space.

For more information of the June 21 flight, see the enhanced project web-site at:
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Patrick Collins 3 June 2004
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