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Rutan's SpaceshipOne Hits 200,000 Feet

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.

Space 292

An anonymous reader writes "Burt Rutan's privately-built SpaceshipOne is one step closer to winning the X-Prize after zooming to what witnesses say was somewhere around 200,000 feet on only its third powered flight. (See also the partial update from Scaled Composites.)"

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How high did it get? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143488)

LOOK at my balls! Think of them in your eyes!

have to say it.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143494)

Ya moftary!

that's horrible (1)

Hot Summer Nights (771962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143499)

considering how two feet can smell, just imagine 200000 of them...

OMG PUT IT IN THE KEWSH VAGINA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143503)

IT WILL BE HILARIOUS

Niggers are filthy and must be cleansed....

with fire

geez (1, Informative)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143508)

Nearly 38 miles ... dayam, that's practically low earth orbit ...

Re:geez (2, Informative)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143555)

Low Earth Orbit is actually about 93 miles (150 km) up.

Almost halfway there, not bad.

Re:geez (4, Informative)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143694)

Actually... this is wrong too. 93km is the limit in which the gravitational drag becomes smaller, but orbit at that level is very unstable as the object will eventually fall back to earth.

Stable orbit is 350km minimum to 1400 km

More info here [wikipedia.org]

Re:geez-- employee of NASA?? (4, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143845)

he said 93Miles 150 KM not 93 km. if minimum stable orbit is 350km what is it in miles?

You must work for NASA right?

Atmospheric drag, not gravitation (1)

qaguru (777981) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143850)

Gravitation in LEO area is almost the same as here, on Earth.

Re:geez (3, Informative)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143595)


No, LEO starts at around 200 miles (above 300 km). And the altitude is only half the trick to orbit, the other is speed...

altitude is only half the trick to orbit, the othe (3, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143688)

Actually, the way I heard it, altitude is only 1/25 the trick to orbit. The other 24/25 is speed. I might presume that the kinetic energy necessary for LEO isn't really 24X the potential energy of that altitude, but perhaps that rather reflects hauling the fuel up there to build up the velocity. I need to sit down and do some math on this.

Re:altitude is only half the trick to orbit, the o (1)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143820)

The ratio is going to change with orbit level. Higher orbits require less velocity, so as you get higher the "trick" shifts toward the altitude when you higher, and toward velocity when you go low.

There is no easy way to orbit, in other ways.

Re:altitude is only half the trick to orbit, the o (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143942)

An interesting component of attaining low orbit is that to attain velocity in a low orbit, you have to go through a lot more atmosphere. Unless you go straight up as far as you can, and try to make a sharp turn.

Re:geez (1)

lazn (202878) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143656)

If you had read the article, you would see that they hit 212000 feet, or almost 41 miles. not almost 38.. but what is 3 miles between slashdot posters?

==>Lazn

Re:geez (4, Funny)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143709)

but what is 3 miles between slashdot posters?

Not enough.

What? Why? (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143789)

You dislike me? I like you. =)

Re:geez (1)

steveb964 (727054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143961)

but what is 3 miles between slashdot posters?

There is 3 miles in between reading TFA and not reading TFA, that's all.

It is not LEO, just the space (1)

qaguru (777981) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143886)

LEO is Low Earth Orbit, so suborbital craft can never reach it.

word up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143511)

rutan for pres!

GNAA ANNOUNCES NICK BERG T-SHIRT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143515)

The Gay Nigger Association of America, in support of Iraq have comissioned a new t-shirt featuring the head of the now deceased oppressor "Nick Berg"

order yours today [peoplesprimary.com]

Um ah... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143517)

zooming to what witnesses say was somewhere around 200,000 feet...

Can you even see Spaceship 1 at 200,000? If I recall, the engine cuts off and Spaceship 1 coasts up the rest of the way, so there is no trail to follow.

Re:Um ah... (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143636)

Can you even see Spaceship 1 at 200,000? If I recall, the engine cuts off and Spaceship 1 coasts up the rest of the way, so there is no trail to follow.

True, there's no exhaust track. But you can follow it on radar, or through a telescope, or you can estimate the altitude based on altitude and velocity at engine cutoff.

Two thirds of the way there... (3, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143525)

Isn't the goal 62.5 miles... that's about 330,000 feet.

They're getting awfully close. I get the distinct feeling this one is going to win it very soon.

The final countdown (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143560)

Do the other teams go around hoping it will explode? That the pilot will break a leg? Just what is the socially accepted way to hope your competition fails?

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143700)

For people using real standards, 200.000 feet is 60.960 meter.

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (1)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143723)

For people using real standards, 200.000 feet is 60.960 meter

Kilometers.

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143780)

Some places use a "." instead of a "," ...

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143798)

Some places use a "." instead of a "," ...

yes, and we're slowly bombing them out of existence.

get with the "," program or die

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (4, Interesting)

plj (673710) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143980)

According to international settings in Mac OS 10.3.3:

60,960.00 metres in UK
60,960.00 meters in US ;-)
60.960,00 metres in Germany and Spain
60 960,00 metres in Finland, France, Russia and Sweden (I live in Finland)
60960.00 meters in US/POSIX

Actually, space as a thousand separator sucks ass. There are zillions of non-aware (i.e. english-centric) programs that want to wrap words in the middle of numbers...

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143984)

For people using real standards, 200.000 feet is 60.960 meter
Kilometers.

No... meters. Most places in Europe use a decimal point as the thousands separator -- so $10,000.00 here becomes $10.000,00 in Europe. But even if you ignore this fact, the original poster is still correct. After all, 200.000 feet (200 feet to six significant digits) is equal to 60.960 meters (60 meters, 96.0 centimeters).

Of course, in North American-speak, he meant that 200,000 feet is 60,960 meters.

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (1, Funny)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143716)

I get the distinct feeling this one is going to win it very soon.

In other news, Dewey has been pronounced the winner in a major victory over Harry S. Truman.

It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings :)

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (2, Informative)

msheppard (150231) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143735)

The article fails to do the math for us...

The test appears to have got the space craft to 61Kilometers, the Xprize is 100Kilometers (twice)

So yes, they are getting close.
M@

Re:Two thirds of the way there... (1)

Hays (409837) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143906)

Doesn't the xprize require 3 people? not just 1 pilot? That's 300ish pounds of dead weight... could make a significant difference.

Imperial system is good for karma (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143887)

Karma for you because you posted a mile/feet conversion. This wouldn't be possible with the metric system.

Sounds like... (5, Funny)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143526)

Rutan's SpaceshipOne Hits 200,000 Feet
As it launched it turned 90 degrees and skimmed along an inch off the ground through the croud.

Thanks ! (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143639)

You've brought back many a memory of model rocketry. Bless the memory of Vern Estes.

Re:Thanks ! (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143808)

You've brought back many a memory of model rocketry. Bless the memory of Vern Estes.

And G. Harry Stine.

What I think... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143528)

Did you ever wonder why Slashdot only supports 7-bit ASCII, i.e. no extended ASCII, Unicode or ISO-8859 characters?

Because Slashdot is a wholly American and Patriot website, that's why.

Think about it! Do you want Slashdot to become a forum for terrorists, where they can freely discuss plans for taking away our freedom and decapitating our brave soldiers through HORRIBLE ACTS OF TERRORISM in their own language and the heathen Arabic script? Unicode, a system that enables terrorists worldwide to plan terrorist actions and communicate through the Internet. Though most try to cover it up, it is no secret to most IT-savvy Americans that Unicode development is partly funded by Al-Qaeda and partly by the French, dictator-supporting government.

There is none of that anti-social trash here. Slashdot supports only AMERICAN, PATRIOTIC CHARACTERS. Eurotrash, look out, because you can't use your fucking umlauts and ~'s here. We saved your sorry asses in World War II -- the least you can do is show some fucking respect and use our alphabet. Slashdot does not support your anti-American characters. 7-bit ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is commonly known as US-ASCII. This speaks for itself. The one and only choice for PATRIOTIC AMERICANS is US-ASCII, the STANDARD CODE for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I'm proud to be an American, and I'm PROUD be a member of this patriotic, American Slashdot community. I am not going to let freedom-hating terrorists plot evil plans on an American-owned, FREE SPEECH website.

Do not believe the terrorist propaganda lies.
Boycott Unicode -- it is a tool of terrorism.
USE ANYTHING OTHER THAN US-ASCII AND THE TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON.

Unicode and its links to Al-Qaeda [about.com]

Re:What I think... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143559)

What's "snoppas" ?

p.s. Nader in 2004!!!

as a presidential candidate... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143621)

Nader blows!

Re:What I think... (-1, Offtopic)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143600)

decapitating our brave soldiers

What soldier? [deseretnews.com]

If you must troll, at least do it right...

Re:What I think... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143645)

You know what the purpose of a troll is, right? Hint: YHBT, YHL, HAND.

Nigger.

Warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143953)

Link to Unicode and its links to Al-Qaeda is a a goatse/old man gay porn browser bomb.

Competing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143533)

I thought this was the team that wasn't actually COMPETING for the X-Prize?

There should have been an earth shattering ka-boom (4, Funny)

StarWynd (751816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143535)

Chalk up another booming flight of the privately-backed SpaceShipOne

I don't know about everyone else, but I just hate it when my spaceship goes *boom*.

Dr Burt Rutan, I presume? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143545)

We're talking about *Dr* Burt Rutan, I presume?

At least, that's the man I congraluated 14 years ago with his Delft University Doctorate.

Let me guess (0, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143546)

Rutan's SpaceshipOne Hits 200,000 Feet

So, did he make a quarter of the population of Mojave line up along the road and drive over their feet with the truck carrying SpaceShipOne?

Re:Let me guess (0)

axonal (732578) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143954)

No, but more likely they created a computer controlled hummer that towed the spaceship 200,000 feet before hitting a wall.

Where can I buy a ticket? (1)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143549)

Vomit bags under seat.

Paid by the microsoft tax (-1, Flamebait)

nydanceboy (708980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143557)

Keep in mind that this was paid by the Microsoft tax often ridiculed by slashdotters....

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (3, Informative)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143697)

It wasn't. Paul Allen is no longer of Microsoft, although he lives off the money he made when he still was part of it. Never mind where the money came from. If this takes off (pun intended), scaled up versions of the Rutan plane may one day bring us hypersonic passenger transport. From Amsterdam to New York in one hour, anyone? It'd be nice to see a private venture beat NASA, ESA and every other *SA out there. AND I would be first in line for the first intercontinental sub-orbital flight.

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (1)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143945)

Of course you would. And unless you are incredibly rich, you'd be the first one turned away.

A scaled up SpaceShip one providing hypersonic passenger transport? Have you read what is going on here?

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (1, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143703)

Keep in mind that this was paid by the Microsoft tax often ridiculed by slashdotters....

Well, the Linux community can do just as well [allposters.com] !

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (0)

pseudochaotic (548897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143854)

By slashdotting? Although, i guess slashdotting is also ridiculed by /.ers, but it won't put you in orbit... *ducks bad jokes involving burning webservers*

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (-1, Offtopic)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143724)

Keep in mind that this was paid by the Microsoft tax often ridiculed by slashdotters....

So, because someone uses a small portion of their crooked winnings to do something good we shouldn't criticize their misbehavior?

Carnegie did a lot of great things with a tiny portion of his ill-gotten wealth. The libraries and universities he built were very cool (and a great thing for our society), but not a single brick made his child labor practices, or union busting through violence, any less appalling. Nor did the good they did even begin to outweigh the harm is business practices caused.

Microsoft is a blight upon the software industry and a menace to the further freedom and innovation of the technology. That doesn't make what Paul Allen is doing any less cool, or my enthusiasm for Space Ship One any less intense. Nor does the latter make criticism of Microsoft's terrible behavior past and present any less apropos.

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (-1, Flamebait)

twofidyKidd (615722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143726)

Ay man...if Microsoft turned around and took all the bazillions they make on their clodware, and invested it in more, cool science/human progress-type projects, I bet there'd be a lot less ridiculing. But as it is now, that money is being used for EVIL.

Re:Paid by the microsoft tax (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143818)

> Keep in mind that this was paid by the
> Microsoft tax often ridiculed by slashdotters....

Most of Paul Allen's money was from inflated Microsoft stock prices. Not actual money from Microsoft. Money from selling stock comes from investors and not Microsoft customers.

Granted that a lot of the Microsoft stock value comes from Microsofts bank account. However strictly speaking Paul Allen and Bill Gates got most of their fortunes from the investment community who bought shares.

60,960,000 millimeters up ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143565)


is a metric long way up

12121.2121 rods up ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143593)


woo look at all the number patterns, interesting

Re:12121.2121 rods up ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143612)

Just 1 rod up your girlfriend, though. Mine.

303.030303 furlongs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143628)


furlong my ass

Spaceship One (3, Funny)

ACNeal (595975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143571)

Isn't that the name of the space ship Andy Griffith made to go get the garbage off the moon?

Salvage One and (0, Offtopic)

Phanatik (696510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143620)

The chick was hot.

Salvage One (3, Informative)

freshfromthevat (135461) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143759)

Andy Griffith flew Salvage One

Salvage 1 webpage [geocities.com]

Just think (0)

An-Unnecessarily-Lon (761026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143609)

They could sell this Technology to the NKoreans and then they would have a working ICBM.

Re:Just think (4, Funny)

WaxParadigm (311909) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143757)

They could sell this Technology to the NKoreans and then they would have a working ICBM.

Not just an ICBM but a manned ICBM. You can imagine the intense competition for that job.

Not the best way to determine altitude (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143615)

after zooming to what witnesses say was somewhere around 200,000 feet ...

Witnesses looking up into the sky:
"Wow, that looks like, what, about 100,000 ..."
"Nah, looks more like, I'd say 200,000 feet to me."
"Ya, about 200,000 feet looks right."

Re-launch? (5, Insightful)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143622)

I skimmed the article and didn't catch anything about the re-launch within the given time period. Are they going to try and reuse the vehicle anytime soon? This, IMHO, is one of the most interesting requirements of winning the X-Prize.

Anyone who's ever been on the tours at Kennedy Space Center knows that the space shuttle launches don't begin with the countdown. Rather, they begin when the space shuttle touches down and the crews start preparing the shuttle for re-launch. Given that it takes (took?) NASA a helluva long time to get the shuttles prepped for re-launch, I'm wondering how these teams in pursuit of the X-Prize are doing with their plans to quickly refuel and relaunch the craft(s) within the alloted time period.

Re:Re-launch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143664)

That's exactly what I was wondering. Considering that they made it to about 60% of the target altitude, I'm wondering if they're going to shoot for a fast turn-around ( 2 weeks) and go duplicate the same test flight, just to test out their refurbishing process. If they can do this, then we could see the X-Prize fall in another month or two.

Re:Re-launch? (2, Informative)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143678)

They got the OK to run manned LEO (Low Earth Orbit) flights from the DOT (Department of Transportation) for the next year, so I'd say it's a safe bet that they will be doing this again a couple more times.

Re:Re-launch? (1)

foolish (46697) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143707)

this isn't a part of the final attempt, just another one of their (very comprehensive) tests. I would guess, based off of their findings in this flight profile, that they will attempt a full or near full altitude test flight before offically attempting the 2 flights in 2 weeks test.

My WAG would be another flight in early-mid June, barring any vehicle issues.

Followed by the 2 flights on or near the 4th and the 17th/20th of July dates.

But what do I know, I just spectate.

Re:Re-launch? (4, Informative)

captain_craptacular (580116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143719)

There is a lot of difference between spaceship one and a space shuttle. FOr example the entire exterior of the shuttle has to be examined and significant sections replaced due to the heat of re-entry. This is not an issue for spaceship one because it doesn't gain a fraction of the altitude or speed of the shuttle...

Re:Re-launch? (5, Insightful)

at_kernel_99 (659988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143720)

The technology of WhiteKnight / SpaceshipOne is radically different from that of the shuttle. Largely due to 2 things: 1) Burt et al are only going for 100,000 meters rather than orbit. 2) Advances in technology since the 70s, when the shuttle was designed.

Personally I expect that they'll be capable of relaunching within hours - well below the two weeks allowed by the contest organizers.

Re:Re-launch? (5, Interesting)

robbymet (732292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143748)

It takes the Shuttle to so long to relaunch because the entire craft needs to be recertified before relaunch. That is because the design has virtually no margin, so under normal operating conditions there are components that are on the verge of failure. These components must all be inspected and potentially replaced before another flight can occur. A small, reasonably designed vehicle should be able to hit a two week turn around no problem. DARPA's RASCAL and FALCON programs require a 24-hour turnaround.

Re:Re-launch? (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143957)

I hope you understand that getting a very small, very lightweight object up to 330 thousand feet and the reusing it is vastly different than getting a very large, extremely heavy object up to 1 million feet.

There are a ton of other differences (purpose, flexibility, etc) but the main problem I suspect is that the shuttles are essentially 1970's technology. Now we can do so much more with so much less (replace much of the mechanical stuff with electronic systems, etc). There is a tradeoff between reliability and simplicity, though, that can swing both ways.

I'm sure NASA is keeping a keen eye on these ventures, and I'm sure these ventures are keepign a keen eye on keeping everything closed and proprietary.

Can't wait to see the first patent battles where one company prevents another from launching because they use the same design for single click launch cycle (Amazon's gonna go for the money in this!)

-Adam

I misread that at first ... (2, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143644)

and I couldn't help but be impressed that Bhutan [cia.gov] had produced a rocket that capable in a country that small.

Oh, well.

Packing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143647)

Don't forget to bring a towel!

Re: Rutan's SpaceshipOne Hits 200,000 ft (-1)

at_kernel_99 (659988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143668)

Burt Kicks Ass!

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143672)

"How would you like to get higher than you've ever been?"

"Become an astronaut? Sure!"

Third Flight (3, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143682)

Well, that's two flights more than most spacecraft achieve.

Videos (3, Interesting)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143710)

I really, really want some videos of this or any other of SS1's test flights. Does anybody know if such things are out there to be downloaded?

Does anyone know? (2, Interesting)

Crazieeman (610662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143764)

How is John Carmack progressing with Armadillo Aerospace? The only major flights I keep hearing about are Rutan's.

Personally I've been rooting for Carmack, but thats probably because I've just been a long fan of all of his work..

Re:Does anyone know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143815)

They've done tethered hover tests which I believe have been fairly successful. See their page [armadilloaerospace.com] for more details.

Re:Does anyone know? (4, Informative)

foolish (46697) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143899)

You can follow the full progress of the Armadillo team at http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Ho me [armadilloaerospace.com] .

They're making some really neat progress with the jet vane concept, but until they get site and vehicle clearance they won't be coming close to catching up with the Scaled Team.

That's ok though, each team: Scaled, Armadillo, XCor, DaVinci, etc. is approaching things differently, so who knows we might end up with a heterogenous and competitive rocket industry.

Heck, there's even JP Aerospace [jpaerospace.com] with their airship/ballon platform to orbit method!

Re:Does anyone know? (1)

Crazieeman (610662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143927)

I think a reasonably competitive industry would usher in a new era of space exploration. We wouldn't be confined by the total monopoly of government organizations like NASA and the ESA which are limited by a constant lack of public interest.

I've still called it... (1)

theirishman (749404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143786)

Shotgun... & TheHawke is driving... :)

Google his ship (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143801)

Google his ship [google.com]

You get a whole bunch of articles why he'll fail... Pretty funny read.

Goatse redirect, or is that tubgirl? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143923)

lol.

Does The X-Prize Ship (2, Interesting)

jwbrown77 (526512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143825)

Have to launch under it's own power (meaning the whole ship is reuseable)? Or is it ok if it uses external breakaway parts like the Shuttle?

Re:Does The X-Prize Ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143898)

I think anything you land with would have to be reused. I am just guessing though.

Re:Does The X-Prize Ship (3, Informative)

cmowire (254489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143920)

It needs to launch again 2 weeks later with no more than some arbitrarily set percentage of mass (ablative shielding, fuel, etc) replaced. So they need a minimum amount of refurbishment between flights.

Photos... (5, Informative)

arashiakari (633150) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143869)

Here are links to the photos from the flight directly off their servers. Shot of earch in background... [scaled.com] Apogee [scaled.com]

Re:Photos... Mod up! (-1, Offtopic)

cjustus (601772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143964)

If I had mod points I'd mod parent up... Those are awesome shots...

LEO now, Mars next (3, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143890)

Budding space pioneers should now know that there is an incentive to go beyond the narrow confines of the X-Prize and go where no man has gone before. This in the form of the natural follow-up to the X-Prize, The Squiggleslash Prize For Human Achievement [slashdot.org] , which will go to the first person or group to land a person on Mars and bring them safely back home - with an expiry date of 23rd February, 2008 to discourage slacking.

The amount of this prize was, until recently, $6,000, which by itself would be a remarkable incentive. But thanks to Stargoat [slashdot.org] , this has been increased by a massive 50% to NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS. (US$)

If you're interested, get going! All it takes to get to Mars is a lot of imagination, thinking outside of the box, pro-active team playing and self-motivation. What are you waiting for?

Inspiring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143893)

Personally, I find this private space race to be very inspiring. There are few things as beautiful and fun to watch as the human mind playing at what it enjoys.

I hope the XPrize is won this year, and that it inspires an interest in aerospace or other sciences amoung youth.

Another competitor (2, Interesting)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143895)

I can't remember if he was involved in XPrize or not, but there was a guy building a ship that used peroxide as his propellant. He was most definitely a back yard builder, he had his two huge tanks for his H202 in his garage. Does anyone remember who he was, or have a link to him? I was really interested in his project a while ago, but I've lost his url.

Re:Another competitor (1)

at_kernel_99 (659988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143936)

Try armadillo aerospace. [armadilloaerospace.com]

Info from Scaled Composites (5, Informative)

TyrelHaveman (159881) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143933)

Here is the actual information release from Scaled:
"Launch conditions were 46,000 feet and 120 knots. Motor light off occurred 10 seconds after release and the vehicle boosted smoothly to 150,000 feet and Mach 2.5. Subsequent coast to apogee of 211,400 feet. During a portion of the boost, the flight director display was inoperative, however the pilot continued the planned trajectory referencing the external horizon. Reaction control authority was as predicted and the vehicle recovered in feather experiencing 1.9M and 3.5G's. Feather oscillations were actively damped by the pilot and the wing was de-feathered starting at 55,000 feet. The onboard avionics was re-booted and a smooth and uneventful landing made to Mojave." - Scaled Composites LLC [scaled.com]

So it looks like it went to 211,400 ft. Those witnesses knew what they were talking about.

Re:Info from Scaled Composites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9143995)

And for those of you who like big numbers... Mach 2.5 is roughly 2000mph (3200kph).

Re:Info from Scaled Composites (2, Funny)

Drunken_Jackass (325938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9143999)

Damn.

Third flight of the aircraft, with your primary display out, counting on a reboot to bring it back for the landing.

That pilot sure has a pair.
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