Burt Rutan's Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team successfully reached an altitude of 337,500 feet with Mike Melvill (the pilot) onboard plus ballast (approx. 180 Kg). This flight was deemed by the Judges as a successful first flight for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE has just received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th. Expected flight timeline:
* Takeoff at 7am PT
* Ignition at 8am PT
* Landing at 8:30am PT
* Press Conference to announce official Altitude at 10:30am PT
The entire flight and press conference can be viewed LIVE at http://www.xprize.org on our global webcast. Ticket are NOW available at http://www.airshownetwork.com/home.html Please spread the word to your friends. Tune in and help us celebrate the birth of the Personal Spaceflight Revolution!
Press Release (September 30, 2004) -- It's Official: X-Prize officials say Mike Melvill climbed to 337,500 feet this morning
1149 PDT -- It's official: X-Prize officials say Mike Melvill climbed to 337,500 feet this morning. That's almost two miles higher than he needed to fly to meet the first objective of the $10 million first prize.
As for the unintended series of rolls, Melvill told reporters at the Mojave Spaceport Wednesday, "It was probably something I did." He suggested that he might have inadvertently stepped on the rudder pedal during the spacecraft's boost phase. He said the whole thing was "kinda cool."
Burt Rutan, who designed SpaceShipOne, told reporters at the news conference that the ashes of his mother, who died recently, were flown aboard the spacecraft on this flight. Melvill said it was an honor to carry her remains. Melvill himself carried his wife Sally's wedding ring -- which had only left her finger one other time in 43 years of marriage.
Rutan said, by the close of business tomorrow, he would notify X-Prize Foundation President Peter Diamandis of SpaceshipOne's schedule for completing the goals required to collect the $10 million cash award.
About the X PRIZE Foundation
The X PRIZE Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Supported by private donations and the St. Louis community, the Foundation’s mission is to create educational programming for students and space enthusiasts as well as provide incentives in the private sector to make space travel frequent and affordable for the general public. Several additional sponsorships for the ANSARI X PRIZE competition remain available to corporations or individuals who wish to support the X PRIZE Foundation and associate themselves with space, speed and high technology.
To learn more about the ANSARI X PRIZE competition, please visit http://www.ansarixprize.org. To find out how individuals, educational organizations or corporations can join the efforts of the X PRIZE Foundation, please visit http://www.xprize.org or contact the office at +1 636 519 9449.
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