Space Ship One


Space Ship One

In Pursuit of the X Prize

An Historic June 21st, 2004

Mojave Airport, CA

Alien Invasion

While circling above to carry the space ship into airborne launch 8 miles up, the main craft at fairly high altitude and assorted chase craft decorate the sky.

Straight Up

After deployment from the mothership, Space Ship One burns a barely visible contrail in its vertical bound to 60 miles above the Earth's surface, while the sun nearly burns its image into thousands of viewers' eyeballs.

Flying to the Sun

Post-flight, the chase craft are positioned to fly right across the Sun with the lead Rutan-styled chaser looking not unlike a Vulcan Bird-of-Prey.

SS1 Landing

Nearly touched down after a thrilling Space Ship One flight that pulled 5 Gs.

Nearly Down

Space Ship One near touchdown after flying to a 60 mile altitude.


Post-flight, a nice flyby view of the mothership that carried Space Ship One to an altitude of 47,000 ft prior to rocket flight the rest of the way to 300,000 ft.


After the SS1 rocket flight, the various vehicles perform a flyby to the delight of thousands of on-site viewers.

On Show

Pilot Michael Melvill atop the Space Ship One spacecraft in a tow-by for the public throng shortly after landing.


In sand garb appropriate for the historic day's warming desert temperature.


Winning the X-Prize

October 4th, 2004

Mojave Airport, CA

Pole Position

A 6:50am lift-off carries Space Ship One to it's historic X-Prize flight.

Foiled Again

Brenda! Where's your hat?

Formation Flying

Three craft accompany Space Ship One to the ground after a 370,000 foot astronautic altitude record.

To Black Sky

The bird will eventually rise above the atmosphere and see black sky and the curve of the Earth.

$10M Baby

Winner of the X-Prize.

White Knight

The mothership that carries Space Ship One to launch altitude.

Menage a troi

Nice overhead flight of 3 of Mr. Rutan's flight tools that day.