SpaceShipOne, the first private space craft was launched today and reached an altitude above 62.5 miles (100 km) during its brief flight, making it the first privately built craft to fly in space.
The space plane was carried aloft to about 50,000 feet by the jet White Knight.
From there SpaceShipOne launched into space.
Shortly after, the space vehicle landed safely at the same place from which it took off.
SpaceShipOne was financed by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen and designed by Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites.
Now, this is really cool…
If the altitude of 100 kilometers is confirmed, the team will later compete to win the $10 million Ansari X prize. The award was set up by the non-profit X Prize Foundation of Missouri to encourage missions allowing the public to travel into space. To win it, the same craft, able to carry three people, must be successfully launched and landed twice within a two-week period.
Twenty-six teams from seven nations are vying for the Ansari X prize.
Good luck to them all.
This could bring on a new age of space travel for the public, enabling everyday people to go out in space.
Who knows, maybe in a time not too far away, we’ll have personal Space crafts that take us to that villa on the moon that we bought through Lunar Embassy 😉