SpaceShipOne Lands

By Deane Barker on June 21, 2004

World’s first civilian space shot launches from Mojave Desert: No confirmmation on their altitude yet, but everyone is home safely.

SpaceShipOne pilot Mike Melvill was aiming to fly 62 miles above the Earth’s surface. The exact altitude reached was not immediately confirmed by radar.

The ship touched down at Mojave Airport to applause and cheers at 8:15 a.m. PT, about 90 minutes after it was carried aloft slung under the belly of the jet-powered White Knight.

The mission announcer said the mission had been successful.



  1. SpaceShipOne gives a hard lesson to the government agencies like NASA and others of how to make a lot with few dollars; in the event of people wishing to travel to the outerspace, today it is a reality and there are more people who may expect to execute that wish on the budget. Note that Mr. Burt Rutan and its White Knight’s development that has really demonstrated the potential for low-cost space travel, says Professor Ann Karagozian, head of the Combustion Research Lab at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

    She describes Rutan’s achievements as “monumental”.

    What makes his work different is that, instead of expensive launches of space rockets from the ground, a single aircraft takes off, flies to the required altitude and releases the spacecraft to continue the journey upwards.

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