SpaceShipOne Close to X Prize

A privately built rocket plane and its mother ship lifted off into clear skies above the Mojave Desert on Monday in a bid to win a $10 million prize for the first commercially viable manned spacecraft.

SpaceShipOne, a stubby-winged craft about the size of a minivan, will attempt the second spaceflight it needs to win the Ansari X Prize for the first non-government team to fly three people, or the equivalent weight, to at least 62 miles in altitude and do it again within two weeks.

The flight is being closely monitored by entrepreneurs hoping to profit from developing commercial space, and by Federal Aviation Administration officials and lawmakers who must regulate the new industry.

UPDATE: SpaceShipOne has completed its second flight and won the X Prize

News source: Reuters

News source: CNN - SpaceShipOne Wins X Prize

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