Feeds

Rutan bagsies 'shotgun' in SpaceShipOne

Pioneering engineer space-bound?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Burt Rutan, the pioneering aviation engineer behind the SpaceShipOne mission, has hinted that he will be aboard the vehicle when it makes its next flight in a bid to become the first commercially-funded craft to leave the Earth's atmosphere.

To qualify for the $10m Ansari X-Prize, the craft must make two trips to an altitude of 100km, carrying ballast equivalent to two passengers. Both journeys must be made within a two-week period. The first leg of that journey is scheduled for 29 September.

Speaking to BBC Online Rutan said that the team hadn't decided whether some of that ballast would be replaced by him during one of the attempts, but that he will be "one of the first passengers, for sure".

On 21 June, when the team made their first flight into space, the craft was piloted by Mike Melvill. Along with Rutan, Melvill is responsible for the design of the craft. Upon landing, he told the press that the experience was "mind blowing", but that he probably ought to back off a little bit now and ride his bike instead.

Three pilots have trained for the next attempt and Rutan says a decision about who would be taking the controls would be made in the next two or three weeks. ®

SpaceShipOne is part-funded by Paul Allen, co-founder of, and long since cashed out of, Microsoft.

Related stories

X-prize race hots up
SpaceShipOne triumphs
SpaceShipOne ready for go
SpaceShipOne readied for 21 June launch

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.