Monday, October 04, 2004

Ansari X Prize

Space Ship One - N328KF - has won X Prize. The spacecraft unofficially topped out at 368,000 feet, about 69.5 miles above the Earth. The flight looked perfect, I watched the live webcast. Near the top of the first flight, the ship started rolling on its axis, kind of heart stopping. This flight was less eventful, but I still got that anxious feeling, just hoping nothing goes wrong. The ship just landed at Mojave Space Port (that sounds so cool! It kind of reminds me of Mos Eisley Space Port from Star Wars).

The X Prize was inspired by the prize offered to the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, designed to ignite an era of commercial space flight. The prize awards ten million dollars to the first person or company to fly a reusable spaceship to 62.5 miles or higher, return safely to the Earth, and repeat the flight with the same ship within two weeks. The ship has to be capable of carrying three people to space and either carries three people or a pilot and weight equivalent to three people.

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