June 21st, 2004

Sign: No Oxygen

Yay for Space[ShipOne]!

Today, SpaceShipOne became the first privately-funded craft to reach space (62 miles above the Earth's surface, technically in space). The craft was built by Scaled Composites, an aerospace company that is the most serious contender for the Ansari X-Prize.

Personally, I was hoping Armadillo Aerospace would snag it; they're progressing steadily, though, and might make a feasible rocket or lifting body even without the prize. (Yeah, I'm totally biased because Armadillo is run by John Carmack, my geek idol who basically founded the FPS genre and developed many realtime rendering algorithms.)

I think the coolest thing about Scaled Composites' success today was someting Buzz Aldrin said. He was there to watch the test flight and, upon pilot Mike Melvill's return, said to him, "Welcome to the club." Very cool. I'm hoping, as Aldrin and many others are, that this will build upon other recent successes and reignite the public's interest in space.
  • Current Mood
    futuristic