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Shameless gloat time.

I worked on this project, from its earliest stages through the sub-orbital flights...hece the pix of my GTO w/ White Knight.

The X-Prize money helped me buy the GTO!

I'm a proud papa.

8)

National Air and Space Museum to Acquire SpaceShipOne, First Successful Privately Built Spacecraft
Press Release
March 9, 2005
Media Only: Peter Golkin 202-633-2374
Claire Brown 202-633-2371
Public information: 202-633-1000
Images: http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/pressroom/pressimages.cfm



The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum will later this year become the permanent home to SpaceShipOne, the first privately built and operated vehicle to reach space and a milestone toward development of tourism beyond Earth's gravity.

Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder and sole funder of SpaceShipOne, announced plans to donate the spacecraft to the Smithsonian during the National Air and Space Museum's annual Trophy awards ceremony on March 9. Allen, designer Burt Rutan and the SpaceShipOne team were the winners of the 2005 National Air and Space Museum Trophy for Current Achievement.

Plans call for SpaceShipOne to arrive at the museum's flagship building on the National Mall in Washington in late summer. It will hang in the museum's central Milestones of Flight gallery between Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1. Later in the year, the 1903 Wright Flyer—the world's first airplane—will return to its hanging position in the Milestones gallery following the end of its special eye-level display on the building's second floor.

"Today is a day of affirmation," Allen said. "It reminds us that almost anything is possible with a great team and a worthy challenge. But bigger challenges lie ahead—regularly scheduled space tourism and orbital flights of commercial passengers. This means we need more innovation, energy and more milestones to be achieved. But as this museum tells us, the exploration of the high frontier is part of what inspires all of us."

SpaceShipOne is the first privately owned and operated spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 62 miles (100 km) twice within a period of 14 days, a feat that captured the $10 million Ansari X-Prize, designed to encourage development of space tourism.

On Oct. 4, 2004, pilot Brian Binnie took SpaceShipOne 70 miles (112 km) above the Earth. On Sept. 29, pilot Mike Melvill flew the vehicle 64 miles (102 km) above the Earth. SpaceShipOne flew previously on June 21, 2004, with Melvill piloting and exceeding an altitude of 62 miles.

Although equipped with three seats, SpaceShipOne has only been flown solo. To qualify for the Ansari X-Prize, it carried the pilot and the equivalent weight of two passengers. Its design, featuring a bullet-shaped forward fuselage and splayed wings, will be studied for adaptation for larger space tourism vehicles.

In expressing his gratitude for the SpaceShipOne donation, museum director Gen. J.R. "Jack" Dailey said, "Our collection is a celebration of firsts. Paul Allen, Burt Rutan and their team are the kind of visionaries who unlock the mysteries of flight and create new ways for us to explore our world and beyond."

SpaceShipOne will be the fifth Rutan-designed vehicle in the museum's collection. The Mall building's south lobby gallery features Rutan's Voyager aircraft, which in 1986 made the first nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world.

The National Air and Space Museum building on the Mall is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center—which displays one of Burt Rutan's innovative VariEze kit aircraft—is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (Closed Dec. 25) Admission is free but there is a $12 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Shuttle bus service runs between the facilities with a roundtrip ticket costing $12. (Group discounts are available
Between the Spirit of St. Louis and Glamorous Glennis? Wow...unreal!

http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/pressroom/releaseDetail.cfm?releaseID=130
 

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I watched the program on Discovery (at least I think that was the channel) and really enjoyed the experience. Congratulations. :cheers
 

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This is way way cool. I watched the show also. One of the shows I guess the burn didn't go right or something and I sh|t a brick watching the guy. I can't even imagine him sitting there and seeing things not go 100%. I think it was the time where he let m&m's go inside the cockpit in space. There was something that happened. I can't remember now.
 

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II-Savy said:
This is way way cool. I watched the show also. One of the shows I guess the burn didn't go right or something and I sh|t a brick watching the guy. I can't even imagine him sitting there and seeing things not go 100%. I think it was the time where he let m&m's go inside the cockpit in space. There was something that happened. I can't remember now.


"That Guy" is my friend and ex-boss Mike Melvill. He is one helluva guy and the best pilot alive.

I snagged a few of those M&Ms...I have them framed with a picture on my wall.
 

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GROUCHO its really awesome that you got to do that kind of stuff! What kind of education is required? At 24 years old its never too late to change careers and I've always been interested in aerospace things. :cheers
 

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GTODEALER said:
GROUCHO its really awesome that you got to do that kind of stuff! What kind of education is required? At 24 years old its never too late to change careers and I've always been interested in aerospace things. :cheers
I'm an aerospace engineering drop-out, with a flying background and lots of composite fabrication experience and a passion for aerospace. I started working for Rutan when I was 27 (a little over 13 years ago) as a structures technican and ended up as purchasing manager...before I was hired away from them three months ago.

So the answer is "Not much." :D Some of the best engineers there don't have degrees-- they're just really friggin smart...or, in my case, just lucky. :rofl:
 

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Now if you just get a chance to go and see it. I worked at Los Alamos National Labs. for 24 years and I have some parts I machined in one of the spy satilites on display there but I have never got a chance to see it. It was really fun to be working on stuff most people never hear of till years later. Old Coot
 
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