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SpaceShipOne Flight Completed Successfully

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the take-off dept.

Space 998

knothead99 writes "CNN is reporting the successful liftoff of SpaceShipOne from a runway in the Mojave desert. Around 10:30 EDT the craft will reach an altitude of 50,000 feet and they'll separate from White Knight and ignite the rocket for space entry. More information can also be found at the Mojave Airport website" Update: 06/21 15:36 GMT by S : An MSNBC story confirms that SpaceShipOne 'glided safely back to Earth, landing back at the Mojave Airport' around 8.15AM PST.

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Question (5, Insightful)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484669)

So they made it. Congrats. Now how high would they have to go to enter orbit?

Re:Question (1, Informative)

geordi177 (732884) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484707)

They would have to reach Mach 25, over 8 times the speed they reached (a bit over Mach 3) in order to reach LEO (low-earth orbit). Burt Rutan, builder of the craft, says that his goal is to reach not only LEO, but make it to other planets

Re:Question (1, Informative)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484879)

Burt Rutan, builder of the craft, says that his goal is to reach not only LEO, but make it to other planets

Hey! That's my goal too!

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484708)

It's not how high, but how fast. They'd need to get a little higher, but a lot faster horizontally in order to maintain an orbit.

Re:Question (4, Informative)

Dr. GeneMachine (720233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484710)

It's more a question of speed than of height - with the current design, Spaceship One won't be capable of reaching orbital speeds, which far exceed Mach 3.

Re:Question (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484736)

Yes, but couldn't they just go higher and fall into orbit?

Re:Question (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484790)

Yes, but couldn't they just go higher and fall into orbit?

Attaining orbit is not a matter of height. It's a matter of going so fast that you continuously miss the Earth. The only reason why a space craft has to fly so high is that the thick atmosphere will slow it down.

Re:Question (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484845)

I don't see how. You would have to expend about as much energy to reach a height that corresponds with the desired end velocity. Then you have the problem of turning the downward velocity into the required lateral velocity. You have no atmosphere worth talking about at that height so you would have to use a rocket to get the lateral component required. By the time all is said and done, you were better off getting the required speed from launch.

Re:Question (4, Insightful)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484724)

38 miles higher, and 18,000 mph downrange velocity. Roughly. Baby steps, man, baby steps.

Best part, Rutan has admitted that SS1 is scalable, meaning it could become an orbital launch vehicle. Sweet.

Re:Question (4, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484803)

Best part, Rutan has admitted that SS1 is scalable, meaning it could become an orbital launch vehicle. Sweet.

Maybe there's something in all the naming - the project's called Tier One [scaled.com] , the spacecraft module is called SpaceShipTwo...

What's Tier Two going to be?

Re:Question (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484839)

SpaceShipTwo? Where the hell did I pull that from?

Agh. Need coffee!

Unless, of course, my caffeine deficiency means I can now see into the future... Woah!

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484737)

CNN said that you had to reach like Mach 25 to get orbital - SpaceShipOne could never do that in its current design.

Re:Question (5, Informative)

Yarn (75) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484742)

it's not a matter of height, it's a matter of speed.

Here [nasa.gov] is a nice orbital velocity calculator.

Getting up to that speed is not the only problem, you have to loose all that kinetic energy before you land, unless you fancy spreading yourself thinly across a continent.

Re:Question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484868)

If I lose my booze, I turn into a loose caboose.

Re:Question (5, Informative)

StupidHelpDeskGuy (636955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484755)

Generally somewhere between 250-300 km (where air drag starts to become important) and 1000 km (where the inner van allen radiation belt starts to get serious). Low earth orbit usually implies a modest inclination to the equator, (i.e., the lowest achievable from the launch site). The Space Shuttle flies in low Earth orbit.

For more information see this article from ScienceWorld [wolfram.com]

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484780)

that really depends on how long they want to stay up there.
at heights of less than 200 miles, the drag from the atmosphere will pull them back down and, probably, burn them to a crisp.
so, probably a little more than 200 miles, depending on how long they're staying.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484789)

First they have to achieve escape velocity. From the surface of the Earth, escape velocity (ignoring air friction) is about 7 miles per second, or 25,000 miles per hour. Given that initial speed, an object needs no additional force applied to completely escape Earth's gravity. Not sure what escape velocity is if your somewhat above the surface of the earth (i.e.-flying) I imagine it would still require a significant amount of energy.

Re:Question (1)

LDoggg_ (659725) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484791)

Couldn't you orbit the earth at any altitude greater than the highest peak? Say 29,029 feet?

Maybe a better question would be at what altitude do they leave the atmosphere. Or at what altitude and velocity do they need to reach where they can orbit without having to keep accelerating forward using the earth's gravitational pull.

clarification? (2, Insightful)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484805)

isn't this dependent upon which type of orbit one wishes to establish?

ed

Re:Question (5, Informative)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484814)

So they made it. Congrats. Now how high would they have to go to enter orbit?

Low Earth Orbit is 350 km (217 mi). Obits lower than this are not stable.

In addition, they would have to be going about 8 times faster to reach orbit.

And More importantly... (4, Informative)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484671)

Early shutdown? (5, Interesting)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484672)

According to most reports, everything went swimmingly, but the Globe and Mail are reporting that SpaceShipOne's engine shut itself down prematurely [globeandmail.com] (according to CNN reports.)

Anybody with more details on this? Is this an Issue Of Significance, or is it no big deal?

Note to editors: It's not like you didn't have advance notice of this. It's not like this isn't a huge story. SpacesShipOne successfully lifted off over an hour before this previewed on the front page. Step lively!

Re:Early shutdown? (5, Informative)

nonameisgood (633434) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484864)

If they hit the 100 km mark, as planned, it was obviously not premature, although it might have been shut down earlier than planned due to any of many reasons (better conditions aloft, etc.) If it was earlier than planned, and they made the target altitude, then that shows they have planned well and the systems worked. Everything I would expect from these people.

Nothing here...move along.

Re:Early shutdown? (4, Informative)

thentil (678858) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484875)

I read that too, and was frustrated that I couldn't figure out where they were coming up with that. According to this story [signonsandiego.com] :

"For a few minutes after SpaceShipOne began its descent, it was unclear whether Melvill had reached his goal. But the mission announcer finally said the mission had been successful as the craft prepared to land at Mojave Airport, accompanied by three chase planes. "

Looks like Globe and Mail just jumped the gun. thpt.

Last post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484674)

Last post

Landed (-1, Redundant)

bergr (150409) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484676)

They already landed successfully.

Private craft flies into space (3, Informative)

Lord Zerrr (237123) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484677)

MOJAVE, California (CNN) -- Rocket plane SpaceShipOne reached an altitude above 62.5 miles (100 km) during its brief flight Monday morning, making it the first privately built craft to fly in space, controllers said.

Space.com
Updates

11:08 a.m. ET: Mike Melvill and his SpaceShipOne have made it into space. Everything looks good, mission official said, and the craft is now gliding back toward a landing at the Mojave Airport, where it took off earlier this morning. "I got goose bumps when I saw contrails," Greg Klerkx, author of Lost in Space: The Fall of NASA and the Dream of a New Space Age. "I never thought I'd see this moment, but here it is."

CNN Article (-1, Redundant)

dinodrac (247713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484678)

Re:CNN Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484733)

Grr. I post two seconds after it shows up and someone gets the URL up before I do. Oh well. Congratulations to the SpaceShipOne team.

ThreadPostOne (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484679)

!!!111

w00t! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484680)

God Speed my man! What a day :)

w00t (1)

paco3791 (786431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484682)

private space flight in my life time is now a reality, just read they landed safely alright!!

Successful launch and landing (0, Redundant)

chrylis (262281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484689)

CNN also has the full story [cnn.com] , still being rewritten as of now.

They MADE it! (1)

Zzootnik (179922) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484690)

Woo-Hoo! They made it into Space (Or so Dick at Mojave on CNN reports...)
Mike is down safely, too!

Make way for the Next thousand ships!

It has already landed (2, Informative)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484691)

The posting is a bit late, check out this story [signonsandiego.com] . The ship has already set the record and landed.

For the Europeans (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484693)

And other people using that backward metric system, that's about 100 kilometers in the title.

Re:For the Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484832)

Alternatively, by definition it is 100.584 kilometres. It just so happens that the inch is defined in terms of the backwards system: 25.4mm

;-)

Touchdown! (2, Informative)

Jibber (83396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484697)

SpaceShip One has successfully landed and it is being reported that they broke the 100 km limit needed to be officially certified as entering space.

Note that this is a sub-orbital flight but Burt has said that he eventually wants to go full orbital.

Jib

blow by blow (5, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484699)

get the blow by blow here [spaceflightnow.com] .

Just refresh your page to get the newest news.

Re:blow by blow (5, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484745)

Just refresh your page to get the newest news.

So... you're telling Slashdot to go to some page and keep hitting refresh?

Reckless, don't you think?

Re:blow by blow (2, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484787)

So... you're telling Slashdot to go to some page and keep hitting refresh?

lol, after careful thought and consideration (or lack thereof...) that might not have been the best idea, but its a popular site, almost all text, and it has been reasonably fast all morning. (some delays toward appex). I am assuming they can handle the load. There is, of course, no mirror.

Actually, the site says to "hit refresh" to get the latest news. Its mainly just single or two sentence updates.

Re:blow by blow (5, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484888)

My favorite update [spaceflightnow.com] so far is this one:

1250 GMT (8:50 a.m. EDT)

The International Space Station will be flying high above Mojave at approximately the time SpaceShipOne is scheduled to launch. The Expedition 9 resident crew will attempt to photograph the launch and contrail.


The ISS crew, likely to be remembered as caretakers of NASA's failed scheme, will be witness to the future of space exploration. Poetic, isn't it?

It also occurs to me that if something bad happens to the Russian space program, the ISS crew may have to wait for Rutan's future orbital project, if they hope to get home at all...

Re:blow by blow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484892)

Here is the text of that page up to now, in case it does get /.ed.
-----
1537 GMT (11:37 a.m. EDT)A post-flight press conference is expected in about 90 minutes.

1532 GMT (11:32 a.m. EDT)He says he was weightless for three-to-three-and-a-half minutes. Altitude was over 300,000 feet.

1531 GMT (11:31 a.m. EDT)"The flight was spectacular."

1531 GMT (11:31 a.m. EDT)"I feel great. I really do."

1530 GMT (11:30 a.m. EDT)"It was absolutely amazing!" Melvill tells reporters at the runway.

1528 GMT (11:28 a.m. EDT)Mike Melvill has climbed out of SpaceShipOne! He is hugging the VIPs and celebrations continue.

1526 GMT (11:26 a.m. EDT)Melvill has his hand out the porthole waving to the crowd and flashing a thumbs-up sign. The craft is being towed down the runway by a pickup truck.

1524 GMT (11:24 a.m. EDT)Crews have begun to tow SpaceShipOne from the runway to the viewing spot for spectators and the press to see the craft up close following its voyage today.

1520 GMT (11:20 a.m. EDT)To recap, the SpaceShipOne flew a safe, 24-minute free-flight today above Mojave, California. With its engine blasting the tiny craft skyward, SpaceShipOne rocketed to an unofficial altitude of 62 miles where the edge of space begins. Pilot Mike Melvill then brought the vehicle to a smooth touchdown on the same runway where the historic mission began.

1517 GMT (11:17 a.m. EDT)SpaceShipOne will be towed to a viewing location shortly. A news conference is expected a little later today.

1516 GMT (11:16 a.m. EDT)White Knight is making a low-altitude flyby down the runway.

1515 GMT (11:15 a.m. EDT)SpaceShipOne has rolled to a stop on the Mojave Runway with Burt Rutan and Paul Allen pumping their fists in the air.

1514 GMT (11:14 a.m. EDT)TOUCHDOWN! SpaceShipOne has returned to Earth safely!

1514 GMT (11:14 a.m. EDT)The landing gear is down!

1513 GMT (11:13 a.m. EDT)Approval has been given for landing gear deploy.

1513 GMT (11:13 a.m. EDT)Surface winds are down the runway at 5 knots.

1512 GMT (11:12 a.m. EDT)SpaceShipOne is banking around to the south for touchdown on Runway 30.

1511 GMT (11:11 a.m. EDT)Dick Rutan says Melvill reporting hearing three large bangs during the flight. But the chase planes have examined SpaceShipOne and the craft looks OK.

1509 GMT (11:09 a.m. EDT)SpaceShipOne is in view from the ground as it glides to landing.

1506 GMT (11:06 a.m. EDT)Officials say SpaceShipOne reached 62 miles above Earth today! That is considered the edge of space. The Guinness Book of World Records flew a representative to Mojave today to verify the data from Air Force tracking radar.

1504 GMT (11:04 a.m. EDT)Crowds are now eagerly awaiting the landing, and news on the apogee -- or highest altitude reached.

1502 GMT (11:02 a.m. EDT)The chase aircraft says the aft end of SpaceShipOne -- around the rocket engine -- looks good. Some thermal effects on the nose are also reported.

1459 GMT (10:59 a.m. EDT)The descent continues. Altitude is now roughly 30,000 feet. SpaceShipOne will glide to landing on the runway like an airplane.

1458 GMT (10:58 a.m. EDT)"A pencil-thick contrail that went straight up" is how the launch was described from Mojave.

1457 GMT (10:57 a.m. EDT)The top altitude reached is not yet known. About 62.5 miles was the target.

1456 GMT (10:56 a.m. EDT)Edwards Air Force Base is feeding live radar tracking data to the controllers.

1455 GMT (10:55 a.m. EDT)Melvill is now pulling 5 g's.

1455 GMT (10:55 a.m. EDT)SpaceShipOne is now 316,000 feet in altitude.

1454 GMT (10:54 a.m. EDT)Ground controllers say everything is going according to plan.

1453 GMT (10:53 a.m. EDT)The pilot is not reporting any problems.

1452 GMT (10:52 a.m. EDT)Mike Melvill is talking to controllers as his historic flight continues.

1452 GMT (10:52 a.m. EDT)The engine firing has been completed. SpaceShipOne is now coasting to altitude.

1451 GMT (10:51 a.m. EDT)T+plus 45 seconds. Engine continues to fire.

1451 GMT (10:51 a.m. EDT)The vehicle is soaring straight up, rapidly accelerating!

1450 GMT (10:50 a.m. EDT)IGNITION! The rocket engine on SpaceShipOne has fired to life, propelling the craft on its history-making trek to become the first private human spaceflight.

1450 GMT (10:50 a.m. EDT)SpaceShipOne pilot Mike Melvill has put the craft in a nose-up orientation for the vertical climb to space.

1450 GMT (10:50 a.m. EDT)DROP! SpaceShipOne has been released from the White Knight mothership.

1449 GMT (10:49 a.m. EDT)Go for release!

1448 GMT (10:48 a.m. EDT)Officials now say three minutes remain in the countdown.

1443 GMT (10:43 a.m. EDT)Crowds at Mojave are having a hard time spotting the craft now.

1442 GMT (10:42 a.m. EDT)Controllers say launch is about 8 minutes away.

1436 GMT (10:36 a.m. EDT)The altitude is now 33,000 feet and all systems remain "go" for launch.

1426 GMT (10:26 a.m. EDT)The craft are directly over the viewing site now, leaving a long, white trail across the sky. They are on the final easterly leg of the climb to altitude. They will be turning to a westerly heading for the launch.

1417 GMT (10:17 a.m. EDT)It is now 30 minutes into the hour-long flight of the carrier aircraft to reach launch altitude for SpaceShipOne.

Powerful Air Force radars are being used to track today's launch and provide an independent report on the actual altitude reached during SpaceShipOne's attempt to reach space.

1412 GMT (10:12 a.m. EDT)Officials report everything is going smoothly this morning. "So far, so good," Dick Rutan says.

1408 GMT (10:08 a.m. EDT)The White Knight/SpaceShipOne duo is now about 25,000 feet over California, heading for the launch spot nearly 50,000 feet up.

1400 GMT (10:00 a.m. EDT)White Knight is climbing to the launch altitude by making wide circles over Mojave.

This twin-engine turbojet craft made its first flight in August 2002.

In addition to being the mothership to launch SpaceShipOne today, the White Knight's flying characteristics -- thrust-to-weight ratio and speed brakes -- allow it to be used as a flight simulator for SpaceShipOne pilot training.

1347 GMT (9:47 a.m. EDT)TAKEOFF! The journey of SpaceShipOne is underway as the White Knight carrier aircraft departs the runway at Mojave Airport, California. SpaceShipOne is strapped to the underside of White Knight for the ferry ride to 46,000 feet above the desert. Launch will occur roughly an hour from now.

1345 GMT (9:45 a.m. EDT)A larger chase plane is now airborne.

1341 GMT (9:41 a.m. EDT)A small, red chase plane has just taken off.

1337 GMT (9:37 a.m. EDT)White Knight and SpaceShipOne duo have emerged from the hangar, rolling past spectators to reach the runway in preparation for takeoff from the Mojave Airport a short time from now.

Pilot Mike Melvill has one of SpaceShipOne's portholes open and is waving to the cheering crowds.

1327 GMT (9:27 a.m. EDT)The White Knight aircraft has started its engines. All systems are "go" for launch. Takeoff is now expected within the next half-hour.

1319 GMT (9:19 a.m. EDT)Mission officials report that pre-launch activities are on schedule this morning. The weather is favorable with clear skies and winds that appear to be easing.

1300 GMT (9:00 a.m. EDT)Takeoff of the White Knight mothership carrying SpaceShipOne is expected about 30 minutes from now. Skies are clear over the desert as the sun rises.

1250 GMT (8:50 a.m. EDT)The International Space Station will be flying high above Mojave at approximately the time SpaceShipOne is scheduled to launch. The Expedition 9 resident crew will attempt to photograph the launch and contrail.

1235 GMT (8:35 a.m. EDT)It is a beautiful morning in the Mojave desert. Winds are gusty -- about 20 knots -- but they are blowing down the runway. That is good news since crosswinds blowing across the runway would be a potential concern for the mission.

There is bumper-to-bumper traffic as tens of thousands flood into the airport to witness today's flight of SpaceShipOne along with several hundred reporters.

1215 GMT (8:15 a.m. EDT)If all goes according to plan, history will be made today in the skies over Mojave, California.

Final preparations are currently underway for takeoff of the White Knight carrier aircraft with the SpaceShipOne craft mounted to its belly. The duo is expected to be airborne around 1330 GMT (9:30 a.m. EDT).

It will take about an hour for White Knight to reach an altitude of nearly 50,000 feet where SpaceShipOne is dropped at 1430 GMT (10:30 a.m. EDT) to ignite its rocket engine and blast to the fringes of space.

After an 80-second powered flight, SpaceShipOne will coast up to an altitude of roughly 62 miles then reenter the atmosphere and glide to a landing on the Mojave runway around 1455 GMT (10:55 a.m. EDT).

Sweet (4, Interesting)

cmaxx (7796) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484703)

I saw the take off and the landing live on BBC News24 and it looked very smooth.

Apparently there may have been some slight damage to the nose, but Mike Melvill declared it a 'mind-blowing experience'.

Burt Rutan seems quite moved too.

Panel was buckled aft. (5, Informative)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484884)

I was listening to the radio relay on the bbc.co.uk live video feed.

On the way back (I think after completing the 'feather'), Mike reported a 'loud bang' and his chase plane, the Alpha-Jet reported that an aft fairing had buckled.

When they got back down they were saying that they suspect the loud bang was caused by that same panel.

Donald Dcuk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484712)

They launched Donald Duck into a SCREAMING ORGASM. They launched him clear into the orgasmic aether OMG OMG OMG

Woohoo, now maybe my SpaceDev shares will be worth (1)

darkharlequin (1923) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484714)

something! Spacedev does the rubber engines for the spacecraft.

Re:Woohoo, now maybe my SpaceDev shares will be wo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484836)

Wow, rubber engines!

How many turns does the rubber band need to be wound to propel the thing to orbit? Must be thousands, if not millions...

Quick FAQ (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484721)

1. Is this a major accomplishment?
A: Yes. Private spaceflight is huge.
2. Does this win them the X-Prize
A: No. They've got to do it twice, in quick succession.

Re:Quick FAQ (2, Informative)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484771)

They've got to do it twice with two passengers on board, no? There were no passengers on this flight, right? Hence, they have yet to begin actual runs for the X Prize.

Re:Quick FAQ (1)

omega9 (138280) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484785)

This was /not/ the official first flight to attempt winning the X-Prize. It was a test flight just like the last one, only this one made it to regulation altitude.

Re:Quick FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484788)

Not only do they have to do it twice, but they have to do it with 3 ppl on board.

Re:Quick FAQ (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484794)

A: No. They've got to do it twice, in quick succession.

On top of that, they must have two passengers or the weighted equivalent of two passengers with the pilot.

Re:Quick FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484800)

2(B) They have to also take 3 people (or the weight equivalent of 2 people plus the pilot/astronaught) on both flights.

Re:Quick FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484815)

actually, also need...2(?) passengers and do it 2x in succession(over 2 weeks). So this doesnt technically even count..

big woop, my brain has been flying into outter space for years!

lsd ftw ;O)

Re:Quick FAQ (2, Informative)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484819)

This international competition can be won by the first team to create a reusable aircraft that can launch three passengers into sub-orbital space, return them safely home, then repeat the launch within two weeks with the same vehicle.

That's what is needed to get the X-Prize, and this was one very large step to making that goal!

Re:Quick FAQ (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484826)

They've got to do it twice with a crew of three in a two-week period.

Re:Quick FAQ (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484838)

To elaborate.
This wasn't even an attempt at the X-Prize. With a sucessfull launch under their belt they will file the 60 day notice, and THEN they can attempt. At that time they will have to make two back to back flights with the same craft within 2 weeks in order to win the prize.

Re:Quick FAQ (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484883)

2. Does this win them the X-Prize
A: No. They've got to do it twice, in quick succession.

And they need 3 people on-board.
From the article:
Scaled Composites is one of 24 companies from several countries competing for the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which will go to the first privately funded group to send three people on a suborbital flight 62.5 miles (100.6 kilometers) high and repeat the feat within two weeks using the same vehicle.

Strange but true (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484728)

When I was walking home around 2 A.M. one morning from a friend's house, I had a homeless man follow me and talk about the strangest things. Something he said that I will never forget was:

"I sent my testicles into space. Man, I'm not even born yet"

wings? (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484731)

So when does he get his Astronaut Wings?

Re:wings? (1)

Cyclopedian (163375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484761)

He already did, just by reaching the 62 mile threshold.

-Cyc

If we can send a man into space... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484747)

If we can send a man into space, why can't we send KERRY??? I don't see any need to bring him back, either.

Let me be the Nth to say.... (-1, Offtopic)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484749)

...

W))T!!!!

I never thought (5, Interesting)

tmork (662252) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484750)

I never thought that my generation (I'm 26) would see commerical space flight in our life time. I thought that the world was too caught up in war and and greed for the next great step to the stars. NASA's stalled and caught in buracrecy, GovCo's got a poltical agenda for the Mars mission.

I am happily, gratefully, wrong. I hope with all my heart that Rutan and his contemporaries continue the privately funded drive to the stars.

Awesome (4, Insightful)

Primotech (731340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484752)

I cannot describe how truly happy I am to hear this news. It's a major accomplishment that many don't fully understand the significance of. This just about made my week.

Yeehaaw! (0)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484754)

Congradulations, Rock-on! Thank you for doing this! Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!

From live coverage on CNN (5, Informative)

icejai (214906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484757)

Basically at first, they said the engine cut out early on their own (they were supposed to be switched off by the pilot instead). They don't know why the engine cut out early.

As a result, they weren't sure if they reached the 100km mark at first, but were told they did afterward.

On the glide back to the landing strip, some loud pops were heard coming from the back of the rocket. Chaser planes inspected, and reported everything looked ok.

Hooray for private spaceflight!

Old News? (4, Funny)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484758)

Posted by Hemos on Monday June 21, @11:31AM [EDT]

Around 10:30 EDT the craft will reach an altitude of 50,000 feet...

What's wrong with this picture?

How about the revised strapline... (0, Troll)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484821)

Slashdot....

'News' for nerds, stuff that matters (an hour or two late, and no guarantee of it not being duped later).

Re:Old News? (-1, Troll)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484869)

The slashdot editors are too fucking lazy to actually do anything other than click the pretty "approve" button.

Hoorah for the human species (4, Insightful)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484759)

This is a great day for man. I firmly believe that our future lies in some day getting off this Earth and spreading throughout space. As such, the accomplishment we have witnessed today was great. This heralds a new era of spaceflight, not one in which governments spend billions, but one in which small companies pay millions, to get into orbit. At this rate, in ten years, commercial space flight might be a reality - and space exploitation (and as a side-effect, human colonization of space) would occur. See any number of novels by Stephen Baxter for more details.

Movie search (1)

smARMie (743226) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484764)

That's great. They did it. I've searched for a movie to download, other then the one @ msnbc.com, but was unable to find one. Any ideea where to get the launch/separation (eventually landing) movie?

More on space.com (2, Informative)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484766)

More information should be available today at http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/SS1_touchdown _040621.html

Everybody Is Covering It (2, Insightful)

Trogdorsey (739381) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484767)

This is great publicity for the X-Prize and what they are trying to accomplish. Just about every news site is covering this flight. CNN and FOXNews have it on their main page.

Next stop: Kessel run (5, Funny)

patmandu (247443) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484768)

Let's see 'em try to do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs!

Wonderful! (4, Informative)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484769)

Next time please provide a link [cnn.com] to the actual story so that when CNN takes it off their front page due to the next Clowns Fighting for the White House story breaking, we can still see "stuff that matters" mmkay?

New Poll (1)

PsiPhi (465108) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484797)

I think we need a new poll, now that it has successfully landed.

Re:New Poll (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484874)

I think we need a new poll, now that it has successfully landed.

It'd be interesting to see what would happen if the editors reset the poll: I'm betting a lot more people would be willing to be on the maiden flight now it's happened ;)

Mojave NOT America's first inland spaceport! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484798)

I was in an inland spaceport at the oxford valley mall over 20 years ago.

Made It!!! (1)

AlricTheMad (463234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484799)

YeeeehAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

way to go Scaled Composites

AlricTheMad

Excellent! Now, the sooner we see real, ... (2, Insightful)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484802)

...commercial, for-profit ventures going into space, the sooner it will become accessible to the common man. Just not in any of our lifetimes.

Common man (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484871)

I don't know, at $5000 or $10000 a pop it could come within the reach of the reasonably wealthy.

Success (2, Interesting)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484804)

I watched it land on Fox News. They made altitude and landed safely. Bigtime congratulations to the entire Scaled Composits team.

Fantastic (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484813)

Hopefully this is the harbinger of great things to come. I'm glad they made it, and I hope they can do it again.

America's first inland spaceport? (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484820)

So they discount Edwards AFB, where the X-15 flew from a few decades ago?

Re:America's first inland spaceport? (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484847)

What about Northrop Strip at White Sands Missle Range New Mexico where one shuttle landed when Edwards was wet?

A Truly Historic Day (5, Interesting)

yohaas (228469) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484822)

This is truly an historic day.
IMO the most historic event since 9/11.
No, it's not the beginning of commercially available space flight, but it is an important proof of concept. I think it's analagous to the Wright brothers flight. Obvioulsy a lot more time and money will have to be spent to achieve widespread space travel, but today's flight accomplishes two things:

1. It gets spcae travel into the private sector. Yes, government programs are responsible for creating many of the technologies we use today, but there's nothing like a little privateization to get things moving.

2. It shows that is can be done. This is more of a psychological thing, but important nonetheless.

Congratulations to the SpaceShipOne team, Godspeed and Thank You!

And so it begins... (1)

rpj1288 (698823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484825)

What's next, after the X prize? Where will our bounds be? I think this is the beginning, the beginning of our spread into the solar system and eventually into instellar space. My goal for my life is to fly in space as a career, and thanks to these people, that was just made a lot more likely. We indeed live in interesting times.

My (late) submission (4, Informative)

Kulic (122255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484827)

CNN [cnn.com] is reporting in a developing story [cnn.com] that SpaceShipOne attained an altitude of over 62.5 miles (100 km) in its historic flight earlier today, making it the first privately built craft to fly in space. More information can be found courtesy of Scaled Composites [scaled.com] here [scaled.com] and Space.com [space.com] also has a story [space.com] .

"Space flight is not only for governments to do," Rutan said. "Clearly, there's an enormous pent-up hunger to fly into space and not just dream about it." "We are heading to orbit sooner than you think," he said. "We do not intend to stay in low-earth orbit for decades. The next 25 years will be a wild ride. ... One that history will note was done for the benefit of everyone."

Soundtrack? (3, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484829)

Did Mike crank "Magic Carpet Ride" on his way up?

Paul Allen (0, Offtopic)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484833)

I guess Microsoft money is good for something!

that's fantastic! (0, Troll)

RoufTop (94425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484837)

So how long until the Discovery channel does a special on how they hoaxed it?

Very happy to see this without govenrment involved (1)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484854)

and within my lifetime. I'm 58 so I watched the first sub-orbital shots. This is a great day, but as someone else said, a baby step. It's a long way to orbital velocity and, perhaps even harder, landing from orbital velocity. I'm confident they'll get there. Way to go!!

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain

Dammit! (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484857)

Missed my flight!

Cost? (2, Interesting)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484863)

Does anyone have the numbers for how much they actually spent to get to this point? I have heard ~$20 million...but I don't know a real number.

How times have changed (2, Interesting)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484867)

I was watching for this on BBC News 24 and they continued to show the leader of the opposition haranging Mr Blair about the EU Constitution. They did show a little "Breaking News" banner but I can't believe they didn't just cut away. I can't imaging this behaviour happening in the days of Project Mercury....

No more NASA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9484876)

Woohoo! time to cut funds for NASA!

Googling for Michael Melvill (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484890)

shows up The Unity and Gravity of an elemental Architecture [ignca.nic.in] in the first page.

Linking this guy with reference to gravity (if only the word) doesn't seem to be a co-incidence. May be Google's brain's evolving.

an article interesting from '98
RUTAN'S WEIRDEST PLANE YET [popularmechanics.com]

VIDEO! WHERE ART THOU? (1)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 10 years ago | (#9484893)

Anybody captured this on video? Will Scaled/CNN/Discovery/anybody release any videos of this? Photos should be nice... videos are mandatory :)
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