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SpaceShipOne Captures X-Prize

14/10/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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SpaceShipOne has rocketed into history, becoming the first private manned spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 328,000 feet twice within the span of a 14 day period, thus claiming the ten million dollar Ansari X-Prize.

In addition to meeting the altitude requirement to win the X-Prize, pilot Brian Binnie also broke the August 22, 1963 record by Joseph A. Walker, who flew the X-15 to an unofficial world altitude record of 354,200 feet.

Brian Binnie's SpaceShipOne flight carried him all the way to 367,442 feet or 69.6 miles above the Earth's surface.

The Ansari X-Prize was founded in 1996, modeled after the Orteg Prize that Charles Lindbergh won in 1927 by flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The October 4, 2004 SpaceShipOne flight was timed partially to coincide with the 47th anniversary of the Soviet launch of Sputnik.

For a high quality 3 minute 5MB streaming / downloadable clip in their video section featuring on board camera and chase footage of X-Prize flight 2, visit http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/video.htm

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