SpaceShipOne plus three years

Today (assuming you’re reading this in the next few hours) is the third anniversary of the first flight into space by SpaceShipOne. A couple people emailed me to ask if I was going to post on this, and while I thought about taking a deep big-picture view of the significance of the anniversary, but realized what I wrote last year on the second anniversary of the flight is still valid today. Progress has been made (and continues to be made, as recent developments have demonstrated), but you still can’t fly into space on a suborbital vehicle. Perhaps by this time next year that will be different, at least if you’re a test pilot for one of the leading vehicle developers.

4 comments to SpaceShipOne plus three years

  • Peter Shearer

    We wait…

  • SpaceShipOne plus three years…

    Jeff Foust has a few thoughts about space tourism on the third anniversary of SpaceShipOne’s first suborbital flight….

  • james lee

    I imagine we will see a lot of visible progress after
    White Knight 2 starts test flight.

    When people in LA start reporting the biggest baddest whitest
    airplane in the world flying, then, start your timer.

    Until then the onl other thing that will be visible will be
    engine tests. Scaled is famously low-key, so,
    i can only suggest counting cars in the parking lot
    as a metric of effort.

  • Peter Shearer

    As curious as I am on what exactly SS2 will look like (lessons learned, new innovations incorporated) I gotta say… White Knight is going to be awesome!

    I’ve heard it said that it’ll look more like Global Flyer (Capricorn) and will be supersonic. A wise idea considering how much easier it’ll make SS2’s pull-up (“hypersonic to supersonic transition tends to rock the wings”). Will probably be the weirdest supersonic jet out there… Another “crazy” design from Burt Rutan… (Applause)

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