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:: Monday, October 04, 2004 ::

And X-Prize makes three things
History /Space: I didn't think that I would have another October 4th related post today. Well, turns out another space event happened.

The Ansari X-Prize was won today by the Scaled Composites Space Ship One team. I watched it live on the Discovery Channel here in Canada - and also via the live X-Prize webcast. The latter was about 30 seconds behind the TV, but when the TV went to annoying commercials, I could watch the unedited video of the ship as it returned to Earth. While it would have been cool to see the Canadian team win, this was by far the cooler concept vehicle. Good thing the Canadians didn't win, can you imagine a prize being won by an online casino funded spaceship? Sounds a little silly - good thing for a movie plot, but not for real. It was not something that was destined to go down in history. More from CNN. Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines is already planning a fleet of SS1 styled ships to take tourists in orbit within a few years. I think it will happen. Bring on Virgin Galactic.

Today's flight set an altitude record exceeding the military X-15's top altitude of 354,200 feet (67 miles) set on August 22, 1963, climbing to an altitude of 377,591 feet (71 1/2 miles). Brian Binnie, the second commercial astronaut, didn't have any roll issues like on the first attempt. Landed without a hitch at the spaceport in California's Mojave Desert. Very cool. Official spaceport site here. Maybe I will visit here when I go on vacation next month. That would be fun.

Carpe Diem

:: Mike Wood 23:47 [+] :: 0 comments


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