The $10 million X-Prize will be awarded… ShaceShipOne took it’s second flight in a week, this time to an altitude of 368,000 feet, breaking the record set in the 60′s by the X-15. (News Story) ShaceShipOne was developed by Scaled Composites, and funded by Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.
SpaceShipOne is the first non-governmental project into space, and not only did they do it once, they did it twice in less than a week with the same craft. The technology is already being licensed by Virgin Galactic to offer flights to paying customers in 2007, for about $190,000 a trip.
This has been compared to Lindbergh’s flight over the Atlantic to win a $25,000 prize. But I think it’s more like the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. Sure, we’ve been to space before. But for a handful of engineers to put this together with gliders and a big rocket, is an incredibly impressive human feat, and has signaled the beginning of private space travel.