SCALED COMPOSITES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCALED COMPOSITES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SpaceShipOne private spacecraft gliding after it has been released at high altitude by its carrier craft White Knight (not seen). The first space launch of SpaceShipOne is scheduled for 21 June 2004 from Mojave, California, USA. After release from the underside of White Knight, it will fire its rocket to ascend outside the atmosphere to 100 kilometres altitude, before gliding back to Earth. If successful, SpaceShipOne will be the world's first commercial (non-governmental) manned space vehicle. It was designed by Burt Rutan's team at Scaled Composites, and funded by billionaire philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
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