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The three-person spacecraft which on 4 October 2004 won the Ansari X Prize by becoming the first privately manned vehicle to exceed an altitude of 100 km twice within a fortnight. The craft, built by Scaled Composites of Mojave, California, was dropped from a White Knight carrier aircraft and used its own rocket engine to boost itself on a sub-orbital trajectory, landing back on a runway at Mojave Airport. The first flight, with pilot Mike Melvill, took place on 29 September 2004 and reached 102 km while the second, on 4 October 2004 with pilot Brian Binnie, reached 112 km. On each flight, only the pilot and ballast representing two passengers was on board.


Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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