SpaceShipOne touched the edge of space on June 21st 2004 and went on to win the X-Prize later that year. A triumphant Rutan and Melville flew in to Airventure 2005 in WhiteNightOne and SpaceShipOne. Of the SpaceShipOne: one resides at the Smithsonian in DC and the other at the EAA museum in Oshkosh. WhiteNightOne rests in Everett, WA as part of the Paul Allen Heritage Collection.
Last month marked 10 years since the first commercial space flight. SpaceShipOne quietly tucked under the belly of its mother ship, WhiteKnightOne, flew successfully into outer space on June 21st, 2004. Although the flight into outer space and the return lasted barely 24 minutes, it accomplished what Rutan set out to prove: that commercial space flight is feasible. Two subsequent flights in September and October of the same year, demonstrated undeniably that it is not only possible but can be accomplished with short turn around time.
Scaled Composites went on to win the Ansari X-Prize and continues to build SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo with commercial space tourism in mind under the auspices of Virgin Galactic. After the three successful flights, SpaceShipOne was retired, and now graces the front galley in the Smithsonian Air and Space Musuem in Washington, D.C. This week marked the end of the first phase of commercial space…
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