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SpaceShipOne makes first captive carry flight
Posted: Wed, May 21, 2003, 7:29 PM ET (2329 GMT)
SpaceShipOne and White Knight in flight (X Prize) SpaceShipOne, the reusable suborbital spacecraft developed by Burt Rutan, made its first "captive carry" flight underneath its carrier aircraft this week. According to a report on the X Prize web site, SpaceShipOne flew attached to the underside of the fuselage of the White Knight aircraft during a test flight in Mojave, California on Monday. SpaceShipOne remained attached to White Knight throughout the flight, which was of unspecified duration and to an unspecified altitude. X Prize chairman Peter Diamandis confirmed that the test flight took place during a briefing he gave about the X Prize Wednesday during a meeting of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) at FAA Headquarters in Washington. There is no news about any SpaceShipOne test flights on the web site of Scaled Composites, Rutan's company. At the rollout of SpaceShipOne April 18 Rutan said that captive carry flights would begin in the near future. Rutan also said that Scaled would provide monthly reports on Scaled's web site about SpaceShipOne test activity; however, there have been no updates since the rollout. SpaceShipOne is a suborbital spacecraft designed to compete for the X Prize, a $10 million award to the first team to privately develop a reusable spacecraft capable of carrying three people to an altitude of 100 km twice in a two-week period.
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