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The story of SpaceShipOne's space flights continues from
what we recorded after the June 21 flight.
(The June 21 pictures are also linked below on this page.)
Scaled Composites announced its X-Prize flights were scheduled for Sept 29 and, if that succeeded, Oct 4. Though the X-Prize rules allowed up to 2 weeks, Burt Rutan wanted to make the historic completion of the X-Prize take place on the anniversary of the Oct 4, 1957 launch of Sputnik.
These are the pictures and notes from Stratofox members who attended. We know that all our team members wanted to be there for all the launches. But work or school schedules often get in the way. These pictures helped our members who couldn't make it. As we usually do, we tried to take enough pictures so you'd have an idea what it was like to be there. And we're letting the public see them too, as a recording of history from the point of view where we were privileged to witness it.
We at Stratofox are all aviation and space enthusiasts. We're an amateur rocket and balloon tracking team. Though we earned the distinction in May 2004 as the first and only amateur team to recover a rocket launched to space when we led the search for the first unmanned privately-funded launch to space. After we participated in CSXT's space launch, Ky Michaelson showed everyone who helped with the launch a message he received... Burt Rutan had sent all of us his congratulations. Wow!
Now it's his turn. The entire Stratofox team congratulates Burt Rutan, Mike Melvill, Brian Binnie and the entire team at Scaled Composites. They have earned all the congratulations that the world is sending them for their successful privately-funded manned space flights.
So yeah, we're really into this.
We're serious aviation and space enthusiasts.
That's why we came to see SpaceShipOne fly,
and to be part of the crowd cheering for its success.
What they accomplished
It may take years for the world to determine the effects of
Scaled Composites' manned space flights.
But we already know that these things were accomplished by Scaled Composites.
|Organization||Type of organization||First manned space launch||Manned-vehicle launch sites|
|name||date||type of flight|
|Russia, formerly Soviet Union||large national government||Yuri Gagarin
|April 12, 1961||orbit||Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan|
|United States of America||large national government||Alan Shepherd
|May 5, 1961||suborbital||Cape Canaveral, Florida
Edwards AFB, Mojave Desert, California (X-15 only, 1962-1968)
|China||large national government||Yang Liwei
|Oct 15, 2003||orbit||Jiuquan Launch Center, Gansu|
|Scaled Composites||small privately-owned corporation||Michael Melvill
|June 21, 2004||suborbital||Mojave Airport, California or any airport with a long runway|
|Pictures||June 21, 2004||Sept 29, 2004||Oct 4, 2004|
|Flight 15P||Flight 16P||Flight 17P|
|first non-government manned space flight||first X-Prize space flight||second X-Prize space flight|
|Stratofox photographers||Ian Kluft
|Ian Kluft||Ian Kluft|
|Arrival at Mojave||23 pictures|
|Early on Launch Day||25 pictures||short intro + 20 pictures||short intro + 0 pictures|
|Taxi and Takeoff||30 pictures||59 pictures||59 pictures|
|Climbing, climbing, climbing...||30 pictures||38 pictures||72 pictures|
|Release and launch of SpaceShipOne||20 pictures||16 pictures||36 pictures|
|The Return of SpaceShipOne||20 pictures||22 pictures||37 pictures|
|SpaceShipOne landing||24 pictures||12 pictures||17 pictures|
|Chase Plane photo passes and landing||32 pictures||30 pictures||38 pictures|
|SpaceShipOne is shown to the crowd||19 pictures||51 pictures||39 pictures|
|After the flight||17 pictures||1 picture|
|More pictures at team members' own web sites|
|Sean Lynch||June 21||Sept 29||Oct 4|
|Rick Baldridge||Oct 4|
This is a video of the June 21 space flight from the public viewing area.
For those who wanted to attend but couldn't,
it gives you an impression what it was like to be there.
Web text copyright 2004 by Stratofox, a Special Interest Group of the South Bay Community Network, Silicon Valley, California
All pictures copyright 2004 by their photographers.
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