JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
White Knight, carrier craft for SpaceShipOne. This high-altitude, twin turbojet research plane is the aerial platform used by SpaceShipOne to launch into space. On 29 September 2004, SpaceShipOne was successfully launched from the underneath of White Knight at an altitude of 50 kilometres. SpaceShipOne, piloted by Mike Melville, achieved a height of over 100 kilometres, allowing an American team, Scaled Composites, to complete the first objective of the Ansari X-Prize rules. The second objective is to complete a second space flight within two weeks of the first one. The award for completing both objectives is $10 million.
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