In a rare announcement of an upcoming event, Scaled Composites, the aerospace company run by Burt Rutan, revealed that it will attempt to send its SpaceShipOne spacecraft into space on June 21. If all goes well, SpaceShipOne will fly on a suborbital trajectory to an altitude of at least 100 kilometers, the widely-accepted boundary of space. If successful SpaceShipOne will be the first privately developed manned spacecraft to travel into space, and it will set the stage for Scaled to win the $10-million Ansari X Prize. (The flight itself won’t be one of the two qualifying flights needed to win the prize, since Scaled will apparently not carry the equivalent mass of two passengers as required for the X Prize rules.) The announcement, coming nearly three weeks before the flight itself, is unusual: Scaled has cloaked the project in a tight veil of secrecy, not announcing any of its previous test flights in advance. In fact, Scaled is inviting the public to attend the flight. Expect thousands to converge on tiny Mojave, CA, about 150 km north of Los Angeles, to see what could be a historic flight.
Our best illustrations of 2022
Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.
How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier
These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.
The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.