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SpaceShipOne- private manned suborbital space shuttle
manufactured by Scaled Composites LLC (USA), since 1982 engaged in the production of experimental aircraft. One of the goals was the creation of the tender Ansari X Prize. The main condition for the contest is to create a spacecraft capable of twice within two weeks to go to space with three people on board. The winner will receive a prize of $ 10 million. The award was scheduled for early 2005.
As a result, flights beginning in October 2004 the team managed to win the creators of X Prize.
Implemented first flight May 20, 2003.
To fly into orbit April 1, 2004 by the Federal Aviation Administration has issued the very first license in the world.
Historic date for space can be considered June 21, 2004, when a private plane SpaceShipOne went into space for the first time.
September 30, 2004 - the first official flight within the X-Prize. The ship managed to climb to a height of 100 km. At the same time there was an emergency situation: the ship at the time of autonomous flight with the included engine began to rotate around its longitudinal axis. It was decided to reduce the time of the engine 11 seconds earlier due. Fortunately no one was hurt. Burt Rutan said that until the cause of the problem will not be installed and removed can not speak about the next flight. Fortunately, the problem was quickly resolved, and a second official flight took place.
The second flight Implemented October 4, 2004. Win X-Prize.
A successful flight brings even more possibility of practical realization of space tourism.
At the beginning of the flight the ship rises to a height of about 14 km above sea level, with a special aircraft White Knight (White Knight). Then the undocking, SpaceShipOne is aligned within about 10 seconds, and then turn on the rocket engine. It leads ship nearly vertical position, the acceleration lasts little more than one minute and the pilot test load to 3g. At this stage the vessel reaches a height of approximately 50 km. The same height it is gaining more moving by inertia. The motion passed on a parabolic trajectory. In space, SpaceShipOne is about three minutes. A little before reaching the apogee of the trajectory, the ship folds its wings and tail, thereby helping to enter the Earth's atmosphere. Overload, lasting less than 10 seconds, can reach 6g. So it comes down to a height of about 17 km, where he again takes the original position of the wings, and plans to fit like a glider.
When designing an aircraft means it was applied a number of original solutions. Chief among them was the use of specially designed by a hybrid engine running on polybutadiene and nitrous oxide N2O (laughing gas).
The cockpit is a sealed chamber where creates the necessary pressure. Multiple windows are made of two-layer glass, each layer must withstand the ambient pressure. The air inside the cabin creates a triple system using oxygen tanks, carbon dioxide is removed the special absorbent system. A separate system controls humidity. All this is achieved without space suits.
October 4, 2004 the unit SpaceShipOne made its second successful flight. Pilot Brian Binnie rose to a height of 112 kilometers and then safely lowered to the ground. The flight went without any glitches. Thus, according to the rules of the competition, the company founder «Scaled Composites» became the winner of the program «X Prize» and received an award of $ 10 million. One of the main creators of Burt Rutan told the people who had gathered at his house, he was confident in the success of today's flight. The success of SpaceShipOne, according to the creators, opened the space for private flights.
As Rutan said: "I feel good that our program will begin the revival of the era of human space." Chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways Branson announced the creation of a new space venture «Virgin Galactic». The project will acquire a license for SpaceShipOne technology for commercial orbital flights starting from $ 200 000. It is calculated that in the next 5 years can go into space around 3000 people.
Branson said: "This development will become an astronaut to any citizen of any country, not some elected»