Encyclopedia Astronautica
SpaceShipOne Flight 17P


Crew: Binnie. Suborbital altitude record for a manned spaceplane Sixth powered flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne and winner of the $10 million X-Prize by becoming the second flight over 100 km within a week.

Sixth powered flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne and winner of the $10 million X-Prize by becoming the second flight over 100 km within a week.

Objectives of the flight were to win the Ansari X-Prize and break the rocketplane altitude record set by the X-15 in 1963. The Tier One (White Knight/SpaceShipOne) composite aircraft took off at 06:49 PST. Drop of the rockeplane was made exactly one hour later at 14.4 km altitude. Pilot Brian Binnie fired the hybrid rocket motor, which burned for 83 seconds. The engine cut off with SpaceShipOne at Mach 3.09 (3524 kph) at 65 km altitude. From there it coasted to 112 km altitude. Binnie experienced weightlessness for 3.5 minutes before re-entry began. The spacecraft reached Mach 3.25 G's during re-entry and a peak deceleration of 5.4 G's at 32 km altitude. Binnie reconfigured the vehicle to a glider at 15.5 km and then made an 18 minute glide to a landing at Mojave airport. SpaceShipOne thereby won the $10 million X-Prize. No anomalies were noted on the flight and SpaceShipOne returned with no maintenance squawks.

Apogee: 112 km (69 mi).
First Launch: 2004.10.04.
Last Launch: 2004.10.04.
Duration: 0.0167 days.

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Associated People
  • Binnie Binnie, William Brian American test pilot rocketplane pilot. Flew on SpaceShipOne Flight 17P. More...

See also
Associated Programs
  • X-Prize The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger. The flights had to be completed before the end of 2005. More...

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