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SpaceShipOne On Display At US Flight Museum

Published by Rob on Thu Oct 6, 2005 11:16 am
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Washington (AFP) Oct 05, 2005
SpaceShipOne, the first privately built and piloted vehicle to reach space, was donated to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington on Wednesday, for permanent display alongside other history-making craft.

In June, the ship flew above 100 kilometers (62 miles) altitude, briefly leaving Earth’s atmosphere, and winning its designers a 10 million dollar award for the first privately funded space flight.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who funded SpaceShipOne, donated the rocket to the museum on Washington’s National Mall, not far from the white-domed Capitol building, in a ceremony at noon Wednesday.

SpaceShipOne will be suspended permanently above the main museum entrance, between the Spirit of St. Louis, which Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, and Bell X-1, which Chuck Yeager flew for the first time faster than the speed of sound in 1947.

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