Monday, 21 June 2004

Paul Allen and partners came significantly closer to winning the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which will be awarded to the first team to send a spaceship carrying a pilot and the weight of two passengers to an altitude of 100 kilometers twice within two weeks.

SpaceShipOne successfully launched just barely into outer space today after taking off under the belly of a larger aircraft. Rocket engines pushed it and its single pilot just outside the Earth's atmosphere, and then it fell back to earth, gliding the last part much like the space shuttle does.

It's fun to see private enterprise making this kind of thing happen. Certainly having someone like Paul Allen to bank-roll the project helps a lot, but ultimately it's great to see a non-government project get off the ground - literally.

The private space race has a number of teams actively competing for the $10 million prize.

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