29 September 2004
News - Vehicles (Good)
SpaceShipOne’s First Ansari X-Prize Flight
Success at 73 miles
by Carol Pinchefsky
by Carol Pinchefsky

After piggybacking a ride from White Knight to 50,000 feet, SpaceShipOne made its first successful flight toward winning the Ansari X-Prize. SS1 reached the height of 73 miles, 10 miles higher than the requirement; unfortunately for us, the space tourist hopefuls, the ship did not carry the requisite two passengers—only their equivalent weight.

The flight was successful, although SS1 made some unscheduled barrel rolls. Mike Melvill, the 63-year-old pilot, did not appear concerned with the safety of his craft.

According to this CNN article, Melvill is “the first person to earn his astronaut wings aboard a private spacecraft.”
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Carol Pinchefsky 29 September 2004
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