Headlines > News > Rutan aims to be on X-Prize flight

Rutan aims to be on X-Prize flight

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Aug 5, 2004 1:22 pm
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chabot imageBBC.co.uk: The aviation pioneer behind SpaceShipOne, Burt Rutan, has said he aims to fill the passenger seat during the craft’s second X-Prize flight.

SpaceShipOne became the first private manned craft to go to space in June.
Its next trips are to win the Ansari X-Prize, which rewards the team to twice send a three-person craft over 100km.
Mr Rutan added a decision had not been made on who the pilot would be for the flights, or whether it would actually carry passengers on the second flight.

But I am going to be one of the first passengers, for sure,” he told BBC News Online.

He said it certainly would not happen during the first X-Prize attempt on 29 September, however.

“On the 21 June, after Mike Melvill had gotten into the spaceship and we were doing the pre-flight checks, I climbed in and closed the door and made motions to go, and then they kicked me out.”

‘No changes’

Mr Rutan, talking in Europe for the first time as part of the Manx Aviation Festival, said that the only change that had been made to the record-breaking SpaceShipOne was a reinforcing of its nozzle.
The nozzle had also been painted white so it would not get so hot in space.

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