View Full Version : Discussion: Success For Spaceshipone!

2004-Jun-21, 03:32 PM
SUMMARY: History was made today when test pilot Mike Melvill became the first private citizen to get his astronaut wings today when he flew Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne (SS1) into space, reaching an altitude of more than 100 km (62.5 miles).

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Jun-21, 03:35 PM
Congratulations from Germany! :D


John L
2004-Jun-21, 04:33 PM
Mike Melville reported that there was a bang during the flight, and when he landed there was something dragging near one of the landing gear. Rutan may have a few more adjustments to make before going for the X-Prize launches.

It's still a great achievement! Congrats to Allen, Rutan, and Melville!

2004-Jun-21, 04:59 PM
:D Being a stoic South African, used to the tough life, Melvill would probably not be the slightest bit worried if the handlebars and saddle fell off or the hamsters on the hamster wheel stopped producing any power to turn the props of SS1............!!!

He'd get it back safely!!!


2004-Jun-21, 05:14 PM
Spectacular!!! I caught the live interview just after landing. All involved were definately excited!!! Spaceshipone is a beautiful winged spaceship!!! Next stop...10 mil. I do question if the next flight will have 2 men?

Peter Canuck
2004-Jun-21, 08:48 PM
I notice on a news-report they referred to the 'Bang' as a slight buckling of the airframe of the craft. Should we call it the space-frame?
Anyway. I wonder would the buckling be something they underestimated the possibility of?
I will be curious to watch for more on that as it seems to be the only hitch in the whole thing.
Very cool to see people doing this without government $ which are of course, taxpayer $ in the end.

Algenon the mouse
2004-Jun-21, 08:52 PM
I know that he is one of the many groups that wants the 10 million dollar prize. They seem to be further along. I forget which group will be ready to do a test run next month.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Jun-22, 01:51 AM
there is a news report from a europe news station here

http://www.euronews.net/create_html.php?pa...1&option=0,home (http://www.euronews.net/create_html.php?page=accueil_info&lng=1&option=0,home)

it says Space tourism and other commercial rocket flights are closer to reality now

One Australian
2004-Jun-22, 02:18 AM
This is a gigantic step in space travel. Not only have Rutan and Scaled Composites demonstrated a new way of reaching space, they have shown other privateers that it is possible. I look forward to a wave of exploratory flights as a new generation of engineers are tempted into rocket science.

Well done Bert ... you and Mike Melvill will be seen by future generations as genuine pioneers, in the same vein as Keith & Ross Smith, Lindbergh, Kingsford-Smith and Earhardt.

2004-Jun-22, 05:11 AM
This is great news for anyone interested in space travel and coomercial space exploration. The Space rush of 2004 has begun!

2004-Jun-22, 06:03 AM
I almost entered the X-Prize a few years ago, but when I heard that Burt Rutan was interested, I thought I'd just save myself the entry fee and work on something different.

Burt and Co. did a very good thing! I'm very proud of their efforts.

And the bang thing? When I saw the image of Spaceship One the other day, I noticed that the faring didn't come close to the engine nozzle(heat I guess), and it looked like a possible location for some extreme pressure differentials. Just my guess.

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Jun-22, 11:49 AM
and my 1 penny worth... :D well done.

Is it designed to cruise on the edge of space and not zip-off into space? I don't see any heatshield !

John L
2004-Jun-22, 02:03 PM

Nope, it's sub-orbital only. The speeds at which they're traveling don't seem to need the old Mercury type heat shield. They do use drag to decelerate, though, but the ship is supposed to be able to survive it. We'll get word whether the bang and frame issue was caused by re-entry heat, or something else. Either way I'm confident that Rutan and team can figure that one out and be ready for the X-Prize flights before the deadline ends. If they can't do it by January 1, 2005, then the $10 million X-Prize expires.


The Canadian Arrow team has a fully built rocket, but I believe they're still in engine testing. The Armadillo Aerospace team has done some low level flight tests, similar to Rutan's earliests glide tests, but have a fully working rocket. I think there's a Brazilian team (can't remember the name) that is far along, and the British Star Chaser team has flown several unmanned small versions of their rocket. Most are verticle take-off type rockets with capsules. The Armadillo is a vertical take-off and landing, and I think the Canadian Arrow is, too.

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Jun-23, 09:24 AM
Thank you John

2004-Jun-25, 02:47 PM
Space Tourism:

How soon is true tourism into space anticipated? Will it not be cost prohibitive for many years to come - beyond our lifetimes?

Do you think NASA and the other space agencies will eventually gobble up the tourism market?

2004-Jun-26, 03:37 AM
never, so long as people like Bill Gates are alive and keep us unpleasantly stuck on earth.

2004-Jun-26, 02:09 PM
Thats cool i would rilly like it if this became a worldwide thing where you could buy your own spaceship to travel into space.