DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SpaceShipOne re-entry. Computer artwork of the privately-funded SpaceShipOne craft in the pivoted wing configuration that allows it to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere from orbit. The drag slows the spacecraft, and then the wings pivot back down to the flying position, allowing the spacecraft to fly to the ground. SpaceShipOne was designed by the US company Scaled Composites. In 2004, it was twice flown to suborbital altitudes, winning the Ansari X-prize. N328KF is the craft's US aviation registration number. The Virgin Galactic symbols represent the plans by Virgin Galactic to use this spaceship design to operate space tourism flights by 2008. The Sun and Milky Way are seen in the background.
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