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Space Ship One (SS1)

  1. Jun 21, 2004 #1
    The craft, called Space Ship One (SS1), also become the first such craft to break the sound barrier, reaching a top speed of 930 mph (1490 km/h). The flight, exactly 100 years after the Wright brothers made their historic flight, marks a big step to winning the $10 million X Prize for private spaceflight.

    The fully reusable system uses two vehicles. The first, a turbojet-powered carrier plane called White Knight, carries the second, SS1, up to about 15,000 metres (48,000 feet). SS1 is then released by White Knight and ignites its innovative hybrid rocket motor.

    Binnie then pulled SS1's nose up to 60° and lit the rocket for 15 seconds. This blasted SS1 to 930 mph, or Mach 1.2, and an altitude of 68,000 feet (20,700 m).

    Such heights have not been seen by any such rocket craft since the X-15 test flights in the 1960s. Finally, SS1 glided down for 12 minutes and returned to the runway.

    To win the X-Prize, the craft will have to reach an altitude of 100,000 metres (328,000 feet) with three people aboard, and then repeat the process within two weeks.

    Reference:
    http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/9999/99994499F1.JPG
    http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994499
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2004 #2

    marcus

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    today it appears to have made the altitude goal of 100 km, but with only one person, the pilot, aboard.

    http://www.freep.com/news/latestnews/pm20366_20040621.htm

    it went to some 62 miles and then glided down and landed safely

     
  4. Jun 22, 2004 #3
    SpaceShip...Won?

    Famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan's firm Scaled Composites plans to fly the SpaceShipOne rocket plane to an altitude of 100 kilometers, or 62 miles -- 12 miles beyond the point NASA and the Air Force award astronaut wings for space travel.

    Famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan's firm Scaled Composites plans to fly the SpaceShipOne rocket plane to an altitude of 100 kilometers, or 62 miles -- 12 miles beyond the point NASA and the Air Force award astronaut wings for space travel.

    SpaceShipOne will be carried aloft under a mother ship called the White Knight, also a Rutan design.

    The two aircraft are expected to circle for almost an hour to climb to the launch altitude of about 47,000 feet.

    After SpaceShipOne is released by the White Knight, the pilot -- whose name has not been disclosed from among the three Scaled Composites pilots who have flown it on test flights -- will fire the rocket engine. The exhaust flame should be visible to spectators for about 80 seconds.

    Once the rocket engine shuts down, the pilot will begin experiencing weightlessness. The rocket plane will continue upward to the 100-kilometer height and then begin its descent. The spacecraft will spend about three minutes in space.

    MOJAVE, Calif. -- An ungainly-looking rocket plane punched through the Earth's atmosphere and then glided home to a desert landing Monday in history's first privately financed manned spaceflight -- a voyage that could hasten the day when the final frontier is opened up to paying customers.

    Pilot Mike Melvill took SpaceShipOne 62.2 miles above Earth, just a little more than 400 feet above the distance considered to be the boundary of space. The flight lasted just 90 minutes.

    The spaceship was carried aloft under the belly of a carrier jet. The jet then released the spaceship, and its rocket engine ignited, sending it hurtling toward space at nearly three times the speed of sound.

    The flight is an important step toward winning the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million award for the first privately financed three-seat spacecraft to reach an altitude of 62 miles and repeat the feat within two weeks.

    The SpaceShipOne project was funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who said the project cost more than $20 million.

    Although the flight appeared to go flawlessly, SpaceShipOne designer Burt Rutan revealed afterward there was a serious malfunction when the craft's trim system failed, causing it to miss its atmospheric re-entry point by 22 miles.

    Reference:
    http://www.sltrib.com/2004/jun/06212004/images/nwprivjet.jpg
    http://www.sltrib.com/2004/jun/06222004/images/nwpribat.jpg
    http://www.sltrib.com/2004/jun/06212004/nation_w/177544.asp
    http://www.sltrib.com/2004/jun/06222004/nation_w/177815.asp
     
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