SpaceShipOne

Model No.

316

First Flight

August 7, 2003

SpaceShipOne is a three-place, high-altitude research rocket, designed for sub-orbital flights to 100 km altitude. The ship converts (via pneumatic-actuated feather) to a stable, high-drag shape for atmospheric entry. This “care-free” configuration allows a “hands-off” re-entry and greatly reduces aero/thermal loads. Designed for a “shirt-sleeve” environment, the 60” diameter cabin has a space-qualified ECS, as well as dual-pane windows. The ship uses three flight control systems - manual-subsonic, electric-supersonic and cold-gas RCS. SpaceShipOne’s hybrid rocket motor is a non-toxic, liquid nitrous-oxide/rubber-fuel hybrid propulsion system. The avionics onboard provide the pilot with the precise guidance information needed to manually fly SpaceShipOne for boost and re-entry. It also provides guidance for approach and landing and vehicle health monitoring. The unit stores and telemeters flight test data to Mission Control.
SpaceShipOne now resides at the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Services utilized on SpaceShipOne

This was the most exciting and stressful program I had ever been on. The stakes were very high - but so were the rewards.

Dan Kreigh

Senior Analyst