SpaceShipOne

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Summary
Launched from its White Knight mothership, the rocket-powered SpaceShipOne and its pilot ascended just beyond the atmosphere, arced through space (but not into orbit), then glided safely back to Earth. The flight lasted 24 minutes, with 3 minutes of weightlessness. Its three record-setting flights were:
* 100 kilometers (62 miles) altitude*; Mike Melvill, pilot; June 21, 2004
* 102 kilometers (64 miles) altitude; Mike Melvill, pilot: September 29, 2004
* 112 kilometers (70 miles) altitude; Brian Binnie, pilot; October 4, 2004
With SpaceShipOne, private enterprise crossed the threshold into human spaceflight, previously the domain of government programs. The SpaceShipOne team aimed for a simple, robust, and reliable vehicle design that could make affordable space travel and tourism possible.
SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for repeated flights in a privately developed reusable spacecraft, the Collier Trophy for greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in 2004, and the National Air and Space Museum Trophy for Current Achievement.
Alternate Name
SpaceShipOne
Key Accomplishment(s)
First Commercial Flight Into Space
Impact or Innovation
This privately built, piloted craft reached space and returned safely, expanding opportunities for commercial spaceflight.
Brief Description
In 2004, SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the first privately developed space vehicle capable of carrying three people into suborbital spaceflight. It helped inaugurate an interest in spaceflight for ordinary citizens.
National Air and Space Museum
Rights
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
Designer
Scaled Composites
Manufacturer
Scaled Composites
Credit Line
Gift of Paul G. Allen
Materials
Body: Composite (graphite epoxy), metal, plastic
Interior: Fabric, plastic, metals, hydraulic and pneumatic systems
Motor: Composite (graphite epoxy), elastomeric compound, metal, ablative material
Dimensions
Overall: 8ft 10 5/16in. x 27ft 10 5/8in. x 26ft 10 13/16in., 2408lb. (270 x 850 x 820cm)
See more items in
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location
National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC
Exhibition
Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall
Country of Origin
United States of America
Type
SPACECRAFT-Manned
Inventory Number
A20050459000