Feeds

SpaceShipOne bids for X-Prize

First competition flight a success despite 'anomalies'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne is scheduled to blast off at 14.47 BST this afternoon for the first of its flights aimed at securing the $10m X-Prize.

The vehicle - which has already made one successful trip to 100km in June - will be carried to 47,000 feet by its White Knight mother ship and after release blast its way to the official boundary of space. If successful, it must complete the same feat within two weeks. The second shot is planned for 4 October.

SpaceShipOne is the product of Rutan's Scaled Composites, which is funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Earlier this week, Brit entrepreneur Richard Branson ordered five scaled-up versions of the craft and is planning to bring space tourism within the reach of the common man - providing he is rather more than commonly endowed in the cash department. Flights are due to begin in 2007, and will set wannabe astronauts back £100,000.

This afternoon's lift-off is from Mojave, California. Reports say that thousands of eager spectators are descending on the town in anticipation of the event. The pilot for the flight has not been announced, but front-runner must be Mike Melvill, who piloted SpaceShipOne on its first sojourn into the stratosphere. Rutan himself is said to be keen to jump aboard the second flight. ®

Update

SpaceShipOne finally blasted off at 14.11 GMT and landed safely back at Mojave around 90 minutes later - apparently having completed its mission with Mike Melvill at the controls. US television reports speak of "anomalies" during the flight - referring to the vehicle going into a spin shortly after separation from White Knight - but Melvill regained control and was able to take SpaceShipOne halfway to the $10m X-Prize.

Related stories

Virgin to offer space flights
Cheap rocket crumbles in hunt for $10m space prize
Rutan bagsies 'shotgun' in SpaceShipOne
X-prize race hots up
SpaceShipOne triumphs
US edges closer to private space flight
FAA greenlights private spaceship

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.