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BREAKING NEWS! Private Spaceship Completes Second Rocket-Powered Test Flight
Space.com ^ | 4/8/04 | Leonard David

Posted on 04/08/2004 3:19:25 PM PDT by Brett66

BREAKING NEWS! Private Spaceship Completes Second Rocket-Powered Test Flight

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 02:25 pm ET
08 April 2004

UPDATE: Story first posted 1:40 p.m., April 8, 2004

The privately-backed SpaceShipOne suborbital rocket plane made its second powered flight today.

Built by Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, the piloted vehicle was powered by a hybrid rocket motor to over 105,000 feet. The engine burned for 40 seconds, zipping to Mach 2, or two times the speed of sound, according to a source that witnessed the test flight high above Mojave, California skies.

SpaceShipOne's second successful powered flight was piloted by Peter Siebold.

No details about the flight have been publicly issued by Scaled Composites, although the firm did respond to SPACE.com inquiries that, indeed, the flight had occurred and a de-briefing about the vehicle’s handling during the test is underway.

SpaceShipOne’s first powered flight took place on December 17, 2003. In that test, the motor roared to life for 15 seconds. According to another Scaled Composites source, today's flight was the 13th airborne demonstration of the vehicle.

Extensive testing

The Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne project is being led by aircraft designer Burt Rutan, who heads the company. A major contractor for the hybrid motor used in the craft is SpaceDev of Poway, California.

The rocket plane and its carrier mothership, the White Knight, were rolled out in a public ceremony on April 18, 2003. Nearly a year later, the SpaceShipOne has undergone extensive piloted glide tests, and now two powered flights.

Scaled Composites has its eyes on snagging the X Prize, a high-stakes international race to fly a reusable private vehicle to the edge of space and return safely to Earth.

The X Prize Foundation of St. Louis, Missouri will award $10 million to the first company or organization to launch a vehicle capable of carrying three people to a height of 62.5 miles (100 kilometers), return safely to Earth, and repeat the flight with the same vehicle within two weeks.

The clock is running

For the cash prize, however, the clock is running as the $10 million purse expires as of the end of this year.

Twenty-seven contestants representing seven countries have already registered for the X Prize contest, modeled on the $25,000 Orteig Prize for which Charles Lindbergh flew solo from New York to Paris in 1927.

Just yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced it had issued the world's first license for a sub-orbital manned rocket flight.

The license was issued April 1 by the DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to Scaled Composites. This federal paperwork green-lighted a sequence of sub-orbital flights by Scaled Composites for a one-year period.

Safety first

The FAA sub-orbital space flight license is required for U.S. contenders in the X Prize competition. In its 20 years of existence, the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation has licensed more than 150 commercial launches of unmanned expendable launch vehicles.

The license to Scaled Composites is the first to authorize piloted flight on a sub-orbital trajectory, the DOT statement noted.

While the highest criteria to issue a license are public safety, applicants must undergo an extensive pre-application process, demonstrate adequate financial responsibility to cover any potential losses, and meet strict environmental requirements.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Technical
KEYWORDS: commercial; goliath; private; rutan; space; spaceship; xprize

1 posted on 04/08/2004 3:19:26 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: *Space; RightWhale; anymouse; RadioAstronomer; NonZeroSum; jimkress; discostu; The_Victor; ...
From what I've read at transterrestrial.com the flight went faster than Mach 2 and over 105,000 feet.
2 posted on 04/08/2004 3:21:30 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: Brett66
They need 62 miles altitude, right? They've gone about a third of the way there, so that's very good progress.
3 posted on 04/08/2004 3:22:23 PM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
16 Missouri 540.00
12
45.00
363
1.49
173.00
14

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

4 posted on 04/08/2004 3:25:05 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (If Woody had gone straight to the police, this would never have happened!)
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To: Frank_Discussion

5 posted on 04/08/2004 3:39:26 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: Brett66
I was hoping to see John Carmack's project get going.
6 posted on 04/08/2004 4:09:20 PM PDT by Crazieman
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To: Frank_Discussion
I didn't realize it was 300,000 plus feet for a goal.

Thanks
7 posted on 04/08/2004 5:07:17 PM PDT by Lokibob (All typos and spelling errors are mine and copyrighted!!!!)
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To: billorites
...Mexican food...?
8 posted on 04/08/2004 5:18:26 PM PDT by dogbrain (memo to self: Don't drink from toilet; it's where democrats wash their hands....)
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To: Brett66
It's an interesting comment. Someone else made the comment that there is a big difference between sub orbital and orbital. They won't be having to deal with the re-entry issues, that as we saw with the shuttle, are very difficult.

The guy who heads this firm knows exactly what he's doing, and he's building a plane to WIN THIS PRIZE and that's it. Yeah, the PR will be great. But it's not a vehicle that can be then put into orbit, replace the shuttle or let the Free State Project get their orbital libertarian habitat up there.

Still AWESOME JOB! Proud to be an American. Go team USA.
9 posted on 04/08/2004 5:47:53 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Frank_Discussion
Surprised at how fast Rutan was at giving the go-ahead for another flight after they obtained the FAA license, the prize will probably be won in less than 3 months. I heard the New Mexico legislature has approved 9 million for a 2nd Xprize, onward and upward........
10 posted on 04/08/2004 5:48:14 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: Jack Black
This variant of their spacecraft will not be doing anything other than securing the prize, however I've seen pics of what Rutan's second generation craft will look like. It's like SS1's bigger brother designed to carry 6 passengers into space.
11 posted on 04/08/2004 5:51:19 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: billorites
Looks like a classic case of too many tacos and refried beans.
12 posted on 04/08/2004 6:57:02 PM PDT by Desron13
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To: Brett66
Tnx for the link.

Mach 2 is about 1500 mph. They'll need about a 2 minute burn.

13 posted on 04/08/2004 7:05:27 PM PDT by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: Lokibob
I didn't realize it was 300,000 plus feet for a goal.

Interesting, I thought Air Force pilots got astronaut wings when they broke 100,000 feet.

14 posted on 04/08/2004 7:26:01 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you must; perform without fail that what you resolve.)
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To: Brett66
Bump
15 posted on 04/08/2004 9:33:50 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Become a FR Monthly Donor ... Kerry thread archive @ /~normsrevenge)
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To: Brett66
There should be more news. What's going on?
16 posted on 04/09/2004 10:43:06 AM PDT by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: Brett66
Commercial space flight will only really take off when we use nuclear power. I'm looking into coherent nuclear resonant scattering as a way to have radiation (x-ray, possibly gamma) that can be switched on and off depending on the magnetic field. Cool stuff.
17 posted on 04/09/2004 10:47:22 AM PDT by techcor
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To: Aeronaut
Bump for Burt!
18 posted on 04/10/2004 7:59:28 PM PDT by dalereed (,)
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To: Brett66; All
Macrosoft... Galactic Explorer. Version 1.0


19 posted on 06/21/2004 12:52:26 PM PDT by Mr.Atos (My God... Its full of stars.)
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To: RightWhale
"Mach 2 is about 1500 mph. They'll need about a 2 minute burn."

Would you settle for an 80 second burn today?!

20 posted on 06/21/2004 12:58:00 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

It doesn't matter how long they burn, so long as they continue to use MY motor.


21 posted on 06/21/2004 1:04:03 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: Centurion2000

They Get their wings for over 100KM!


22 posted on 06/21/2004 1:09:02 PM PDT by Empireoftheatom48 (God bless our troops!! Our President and those who fight against the awful commie, liberal left!!)
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To: Frank_Discussion

Cory Johnson of CNBC reported that the ship reached 341,000 feet which qualified officially as a suborbital space flight.


23 posted on 06/21/2004 1:19:31 PM PDT by Truth29
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To: RightWhale
"It doesn't matter how long they burn, so long as they continue to use MY motor."

A decade or more ago I read a book entitled "The E Myth" which basically concludes that lots and lots of people have great ideas (the "myth" being that all it takes to succeed is a great idea), but that very few people can actually turn ideas into reality.

Rutan is one of those few.

24 posted on 06/21/2004 2:18:28 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Truth29

64.5 miles


25 posted on 06/21/2004 2:23:31 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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