First Private Space Mission Makes History

SpaceShipOne, the first private manned spacecraft, made a flawless takeoff over the Mojave Desert this morning on its way into the history books. The rocket plane was carried aloft under the belly of its carrier jet, White Knight, for an hour long ascent. The craft, built by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan, aiming to reach 100km (62 miles), space&#39s official boundary – no privately financed craft or pilot has ever been further.

In order to win the $10m Ansari X-prize, the craft has to attain the same, or higher, altitude again in the space of two weeks.

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