A new astronaut was created today, and at the same time he created history.
A new astronaut was created today, and at the same time he created history. Brian Binnie piloted Paul Allen’s SpaceShipOne on its third trip into space, and its second Ansari X Prize qualifying flight. The flight was successful, which meant that Mojave Aerospace Ventures are able to claim the $10m prize. Something that many thought an impossible dream when it was announced 8 years ago.
Brian Binnie is more used to flying the mother ship White Knight, than he is SpaceShipOne, but today, he and Mike Melvill traded places. Mike took the controls of White Knight to fly Brian up to around 55,000 feet, where SpaceShipOne was released, before rocketing up to a record-breaking height of 368,000 feet in just over a minute. The flight was very successful in every respect. The ‘victory roll’ experienced by Mike Melvill on his previous flight seemed to be under control, and the hands off re-entry made possible by the innovative ‘feather’ design was smooth and successful.
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