Encyclopedia Astronautica
Scaled


American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Scaled Composites, USA.

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

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • SpaceShipOne American manned spaceplane. 14 launches, 2003.05.20 to 2004.05.13 . X-Prize suborbital spaceplane concept of Scaled Composites, Mojave, California. More...
  • Tier Two American manned spacecraft. Study 2005. After the successful win of the X-Prize for the first suborbital flight by Burt Rutan's Tier One / SpaceShipOne, the designer hinted a follow-on orbital spacecraft was being designed. More...
  • SpaceShipTwo American manned spaceplane. Study 2009. Development of the much larger SpaceShipTwo suborbital commercial manned spacecraft was announced in July 2005. More...
  • CXV American manned spacecraft. Study 2012. Crew Transfer Vehicle proposed by `t/Space and Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle requirement. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Tier One American winged rocketplane. Burt Rutan's Tier One was the second manned reusable suborbital launch system (after the B-52/X-15). But it was developed privately at a small fraction of the cost. More...

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...

Scaled Chronology


2003 May 20 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 24C / 01C - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie; Siebold. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). Objectives: First captive carry flight with mated White Knight and SpaceShipOne. Vibration and aerodynamic interface assessment. Mated handling qualities evaluation. Envelope expansion to 130 knots / Mach 0.5 above 45,000 feet. Stalls and 2/3-rudder sideslips. SpaceShipOne systems inactive, controls locked and cabin unmanned. Launch system was qualified and functional for this flight. Additional Details: here....

2003 July 29 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 29C / 02C - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). Objectives: First manned captive carry flight of SpaceShipOne. A man-in-loop launch rehearsal and inflight checkout of all ship systems including flight controls and propulsion sytem plumbing. Results: Complete full up rehearsal for SS1's first glide flight, including airspace, range control, Scaled mission control, data and video TM and high and low chase platforms. Additional Details: here....

2003 August 7 - . 14:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 30L / 03G - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). Objectives: First glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Results: The space ship was launched at 47,000 feet and 105 knots, 10 nm east of Mojave. Separation was clean and positive with no tendency to roll off or pitch bobble. An initial handling qualities evaluation was very positive, supported close correlation to the vehicle simulator and with that confidence, the first flight test cards were executed as planned. Additional Details: here....

2003 August 27 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 32L / 05G - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Siebold; Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Objectives: Same objectives as the aborted flight 31LC/04GC earlier today. Second glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Flying qualities and performance in the space ship re-entry or "feather" mode. Pilot workload and situational awareness while transitioning and handling qualities assessment when reconfigured. As a glider, stall investigation both at high and low altitude and envelope expansion out to 200 kts and 4 G's. More aggressive, lateral directional characteristics including adverse yaw, roll rate effectiveness and control, including 360 degree aileron roll, and full rudder side slips. Additional Details: here....

2003 August 27 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 31LC /04GC - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Siebold; Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). Objectives: Second glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Flying qualities and performance in the space ship feather mode. Pilot workload and situational awareness while transitioning and handling qualities assessment when reconfigured. As a glider, deep stall investigation both at high and low altitude and envelope expansion out to 200 kts and 4 G's. Lateral directional characteristics including adverse yaw, roll rate effectiveness and control including aileron roll and full rudder side slips. Results: The flight was aborted about 20 minutes before launch, after a GPS navigation malfunction occurred in the SpaceShip avionics system. The mated pair continued to test other systems including Spaceship fuselage heating, then returned for a mated landing.

    Flight Time: 1.1 hours White Knight Pilot: Binnie Copilot: Bird SpaceShipOne Pilot: Melvill High Chase-Starship Pilot: Siebold Low Chase-Duchess Pilot: Karkow


2003 September 23 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 37L / 06G - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Siebold; Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). Objectives: Third glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Aft CG flying qualities and performance evaluation of the space ship in both the glide and re-entry or "feather" mode. Glide envelope expansion to 95% airspeed, 100% alpha and beta and 70% loadfactor. More aggressive post stall maneuvering and spin control as a glider and while feathered. Nitrous temperature control during climb to altitude and performance of upgraded landing gear extension mechanism and space-worthy gear doors. Additional Details: here....

2003 October 17 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 38L/07G - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Siebold; Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Objectives: Fourth glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Primary purpose was to examine the effects of horizontal tail modifications at both forward and mid-range CG locations (obtained by dumping water from an aft ballast tank between test points). The tail modifications included a fixed strake bonded to the tail boom in front of the stabilator and a span-wise flow fence mounted on the leading edge of each stab at mid-span. Additional Details: here....

2003 November 14 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 40L/08G - . Crew: Siebold. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Melvill; Binnie; Siebold. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Objectives: The fifth glide flight of SpaceShipOne. New pilot checkout flight. Stability and control testing with the new extended horizontal tails. Tests included stall performance at aft limit CG and evaluation of the increased pitch and roll control authority. Other objectives included additional testing of the motor controller (MCS) and handling qualities in feathered flight. Results: Launch conditions were 47,300 feet and 115 knots. Satisfactory stability and control at aft limit CG. A notable improvement in control power, particularly in roll. Handling qualities into and out of feather remained excellent with good nose pointing ability. Adjusted landing pattern altitudes resulted in a touchdown at the targeted runway aim-point.

    Flight Time: 1.4 hours / 19 mins 55 secs White Knight Pilot: Binnie White Knight Copilot: Stinemetze White Knight Flt Engineer: SpaceShipOne Pilot: Siebold High Chase-Starship Pilot: Karkow Low Chase-Duchess Pilot: Melvill/ Coleman


2003 November 19 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 41L/09G - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Siebold; Binnie; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Objectives: The sixth glide flight of SpaceShipOne. Test pilot Mike Melvill's first flight with the enlarged tails. Emergency aft CG handling qualities eval and simulated landing exercise with the new tail configuration. Airspeed and G envelop expansion and dynamic feather evaluation. Additional Details: here....

2003 December 4 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 42L / 10g - . Crew: Binnie. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Melvill; Siebold; Binnie. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Objectives: The seventh glide flight of SpaceShipOne and new pilot check out. Full functional check of the propulsion system by cold flowing nitrous oxide. Completed airspeed and positive and negative G-envelope expansion. Results: Launch conditions were 48,400 feet and 115 knots. All propulsion components, displays and functionality performed as designed. The feather was extended after a 4G pull-up to the vertical at 24,500 feet and rudder used to induce sideslip and yaw rates while "going-over-the-top". The vehicle recovered to a stable attitude and descent after only a single oscillation. The landing pattern was flown following established procedures resulting in a satisfactory touchdown.

    Flight Time: 1.3 hours / 13 mins 14 secs White Knight Pilot: Siebold White Knight Copilot: Stinemetz White Knight Flt Engineer: SpaceShipOne Pilot: Binnie High Chase-Starship Pilot: Karkow Low Chase-Extra Pilot: Melvill / Coleman


2003 December 17 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • SpaceShipOne powered flight 1 - . Crew: Binnie. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Melvill; Siebold; Binnie. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Duration: 0.0126 days. Apogee: 21 km (13 mi). White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 43L / 11P. Eighth flight of SpaceShipOne and first powered flight. 15 second burn of the rocket motor and supersonic flight. Motor light off at altitude and inflight engine performance. Vehicle handling qualities through transonics and feather performance from altitude. Launch conditions were 14.6 km and 207 kph. Motor light off was achieved at 13.5 km and 0.55M. Burnout occurred at 1.2M and apogee was 20.7 km. There was no noted flight control flutter or buzz during the climb. Feather recovery exhibited a +/-30 roll initially and then settled down into the familiar falling bathtub mode. The wing was de-feathered and locked by 10.6 km. A nominal landing pattern was flown but touchdown caused the left main gear to collapse and the vehicle rolled to a stop off the runway in the soft sand. Although the damage was not major, repairs were expected to take approximately three weeks to complete.

2004 March 11 - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 49L / 12G - . Crew: Siebold. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie; Melvill; Siebold. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Apogee: 14 km (8 mi). Objectives: The twelfth flight of SpaceShipOne. Objectives included: pilot proficiency, reaction control system functionality check and stability and control and performance of the vehicle with the airframe thermal protection system installed. This was an unpowered glide test. Results: Launch conditions were 48,500 feet and 125 knots. All systems performed as expected and the vehicle landed successfully while demonstrating the maximum cross wind landing capability.

    Flight Time: 1.3 hours / 18 mins 30 secs White Knight Pilot: Binnie White Knight Copilot: Stinemetze White Knight Flt Engineer: SpaceShipOne Pilot: Siebold High Chase-Starship Pilot: Karkow Low Chase-Extra Pilot: Melvill / Coleman


2004 April 8 - . 15:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • SpaceShipOne Flight 13P - . Crew: Siebold. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie; Melvill; Siebold. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Duration: 0.0114 days. Apogee: 32 km (19 mi). White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 53L / 13P. 40 second motor burn time. Handling qualities during boost, through transonic and supersonic. Reaction control system functionality in-flight and feather configuration stability during transonic re-entry. Evaluation of radar tracking capability. Launch conditions were 13.96 km and 230 kph. A planned immediate motor ignition was delayed about 2 minutes to evaluate a shock induced stall buffet resulting in an ignition altitude of only 11.7 km. The 40 second rocket boost was smooth with good control. Pilot commented that the motor was surprisingly quiet; however the boost was heard by ground observers. Burnout occurred at 1.6M and apogee was over 32 km. There was no noted flight control flutter or buzz during the climb. Feather recovery was nominal. Maximum feathered speed on entry was 0.9 Mach. The wing was de-feathered and locked by 12 km. Handling quality assessments during descent were satisfactory and a smooth landing made to runway 30 at Mojave. All video and tracking systems performed well with spectacular footage obtained onboard, from chase and from ground stations.

2004 May 13 - . 15:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One.
  • SpaceShipOne Flight 14P - . Crew: Melvill. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie; Siebold; Melvill. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. Duration: 0.0144 days. Apogee: 65 km (40 mi). White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 56L / 14P. 55 second motor burn time. Handling qualities during boost and performance verification. Reaction control system use for reorientation to entry attitude. Supersonic feather stability and control. Launch conditions were 14 km and 220 kph. Motor light off occurred 10 seconds after release and the vehicle boosted smoothly to 46 km and Mach 2.5. Subsequent coast to apogee of 64.5 km. During a portion of the boost, the flight director display was inoperative, however the pilot continued the planned trajectory referencing the external horizon. Reaction control authority was as predicted and the vehicle recovered in feather experiencing 1.9M and 3.5Gs. Feather oscillations were actively damped by the pilot and the wing was de-feathered starting at 17 km. The onboard avionics was re-booted and a smooth and uneventful landing made to Mojave.

2004 June 21 - . 14:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One. LV Configuration: Spaceship One 60L/15P.
  • SpaceShipOne Flight 15P - First Private Manned Spaceflight - . Nation: USA. Agency: Scaled. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 60L / 15P. First private manned spaceflight. A control system failure during ascent caused 90 degree rolls to left and right. This led to spacecraft not reaching the planned altitude and re-entering 35 km away from the intended point. Nevertheless pilot Melvill took SpaceShipOne just over 100 km, thereby becoming the first private citizen, third person born in Africa, second person born in South Africa, and oldest pilot in command to reach outer space.

2004 September 29 - . 15:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One. LV Configuration: Spaceship One 65L/16P.
  • SpaceShipOne Flight 16P - X-Prize Flight 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Scaled. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi). SpaceShipOne coasted to 103 km altitude and successfully completed the first of two X-Prize flights. The motor was shut down when the pilot noted that his altitude predictor exceeded the required 100 km mark. The motor burn lasted 77 seconds, 1 second longer than on the June 21st flight. Melvill was prepared to burn the motor up to 89 seconds, which indicates significant additional performance remains in SS1. During the motor burn the spacecraft began to roll uncontrollably, but Melvill pressed on despite advice from the ground to shut the motor down and abort the attempt.

2004 October 4 - . 14:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: W-Knight. Launch Vehicle: Tier One. LV Configuration: Spaceship One 66L/17P.
  • SpaceShipOne Flight 17P - X-Prize Flight 2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Scaled. Apogee: 112 km (69 mi). 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 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.

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