Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sunita Williams, Indian American Astronaut


In December 2006, Sunita Williams became only the second woman of Indian descent to travel to outer space when she was launched on board Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS). Kalpana Chawla had become the first woman of Indian descent to travel to outer space when she flew on board Space Shuttle […]

via Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sunita Williams, Indian American Astronaut — Transportation History

Space: The Final Frontier


Four years ago today….

Fly 'n Things

These are the voyages of the Space ship Enterprise
It’s 5 year mission to explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before

Who can forget the voice of Captain James T. Kirk as the opening credits rolled, and the Star ship Enterprise and it’s crew embarked on another remarkable journey to explore strange new worlds at the edge of the Universe at Warp speed? There was Captain Kirk assisted ably by  Spock, Bones, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov. All with wit, and ingenuity racing boldly where no man has gone before.

The Star Trek Television series offered a whole new world of space adventure. The first trials of human space travel successfully behind and the race to space in full focus between the two giant forces of the western world: Soviet and US; Star Trek provided the…

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End of a Chapter: WhiteKnightOne’s Final Flight


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.

Fly 'n Things

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.

Oshkosh 09Scaled 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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Oshkosh ’04


It’s SpaceShipOne week… and I am reblogging related posts on the topic!

Fly 'n Things

Launching the next century of flight

It is that time of the year again and I was fortunate enough to make it to Oshkosh for the third consecutive year in a row, albeit for just two days. It is always invigorating and exciting to be present at Oshkosh. Isn’t it incredible that such a small airport is transformed for one week into almost a city of its own, comprising of pilots and aviation enthusiasts from all over the world?

DCF 1.0

The theme for this year’s convention was Launching the next century of Flight and what better way then by cheering the men who are launching the next generation of spacecraft? After the successful flight of SpaceshipOne on June 21st, there was much cause for celebration. A triumphant Rutan and Melville flew in the Starship Beechcraft, the chase plane for SpaceShipOne. Crowds thronged to hear Rutan and Melville speak, to…

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I touched Spaceship One!!!


Monday’s Inspiration

Celebrating SpaceShipOne this week to mark the historic first flight in 2004.

In the fall of 2003, I had the pleasure of coming face to face with SpaceShipOne in the hanger of Scaled Composites offices at Mojave Airport….

Fly 'n Things

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Lancaster, CA for the Ninety Nines Southwest Section Fall Meeting.  It was an incredible trip lasting three days and I am still floating in the clouds….

Day one started with a trip to NASA Dryden and Edwards AFB. First half of the morning was spent at NASA viewing the latest research vehicles such as the  IFCS (Intelligent Flight Control Systems), a heavily modified McDonnel Douglas NF-15B fitted with neural network control systems. We also got to see and climb partway, the Shuttle MDD (Mate/Demate Device) Facility.  This is where the shuttle is brought after a landing at Edwards AFB, to be mated to the NASA 747 carrier to be transported back to Florida.

Following lunch on the base, where we had a delightful meal with the guest of honor, the Deputy head of NASA Dryden, we drove out to Edwards AFB…

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