Monday October 4, 2004 1:28 pm
SpaceShipOne Claims X Prize
Well, it looks like SpaceShipOne has won the $10 million Ansari X-Prize as it reached over 368,000 feet above the Earth. A couple of months ago we reported on the ships first trip to space, which was a success. The prize rules require the winning team to send a piloted craft up to the 100-kilometer altitude (the accepted official distance of outer space) twice within a two week period. The craft must also bring with it enough baggage to represent the weight of two average passengers. On today's flight, that baggage was in the form of teddy bears, toys for charity, and other personal mementos.
Mojave Aerospace Ventures, the company that funded the SpaceShipOne project, spent over $20 million to get this far. While a $10 million prize does not sound like much of a reward, there are already many companies that are ready to license the technology, one of which is Virgin Atlantic. Virgin plan on investing $25 million into a commercial space flight division called Virgin Galactic which will be based on SpaceShipOne technology.
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