NASA Salutes SpaceShipOne Team

Sep 30, 2004
SpaceShipOne

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe congratulated the SpaceShipOne team on the second successful flight of a human on a private spacecraft. Administrator O'Keefe was in the Mojave Desert, Calif., today to watch SpaceShipOne pilot Mike Melvill take off and safely land.

"Burt Rutan and Paul Allen and the rest of the team are great examples of the kind of determination and creativity that is helping America achieve its exploration goals," Administrator O'Keefe said. "We at NASA applaud their terrific achievement today, as well as the spirit of competition behind the Ansari X Prize. We wish Mike continued safe travels to space," he said.


About the ANSARI X PRIZE Competition
In order to win the ANSARI X PRIZE, teams must build a safe/reusable space vehicle able to carry one pilot and the weight equivalent of two passengers 100km (62 miles) into sub-orbital space. The vehicle must be privately financed and safely launched twice within a two-week period. The first registered ANSARI X PRIZE team to complete this feat will win the $10 million prize and spectacular trophy.

From the orbiting International Space Station, NASA astronaut Mike Fincke took note of the SpaceShipOne flight. "Well, it was nice that [cosmonaut] Gennady [Padalka] and I weren't the only two humans off the planet, even if it was only for a little while," he said during space-to-ground transmissions today. "So, good job and congratulations to the SpaceShipOne team!"

SpaceShipOne Second Flight
At 8:13 PDT September 29, SpaceShipOne (SS1) coasted above the 100 km altitude point and successfully completed the first of two X-Prize flights. The peak altitude reached was 337,500 ft. The motor was shut down when the pilot, Mike Melvill, noted that his altitude predictor exceeded the required 100 km mark. The motor burn lasted 77 seconds – 1 second longer than on the June 21st flight. Melvill was prepared to burn the motor up to 89 seconds, which indicates significant additional performance remains in SS1.

The second X-Prize flight is tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 4.

Explore further: Life on Mars? Implications of a newly discovered mineral-rich structure

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Virgin galactic taps test flight veteran as pilot

Oct 27, 2011

From a pool of 500 potential applicants, Virgin Galactic has found their man. The NewSpace firm chose from some of the greatest pilots the world has to offer to work to be a pilot for their company. U.S. Air ...

NASA's Congratulations to SpaceShipOne's X Prize Win

Oct 05, 2004

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today congratulated the SpaceShipOne team on the third successful flight of a private human spacecraft. The team also wins the $10 million X Prize competition. The X Prize Found ...

Second SpaceShipOne Launch On October 4th

Oct 03, 2004

Burt Rutan's Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team successfully reached an altitude of 337,500 feet with Mike Melvill (the pilot) onboard plus ballast (approx. 180 Kg). This flight was deemed by the Judges as a successful ...

Recommended for you

Swirling electrons in the whirlpool galaxy

12 hours ago

The whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51) is seen from a distance of approximately 30 million light years. This galaxy appears almost face-on and displays a beautiful system of spiral arms.

Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy discovers new comet

16 hours ago

It's confirmed! Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera at his roll-off roof ...

A spectacular landscape of star formation

19 hours ago

This image, captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows two dramatic star formation regions in the Milky Way. The first, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC ...

User comments : 0