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Heehee... "shuttlecock"
Washington DC - June 16, 2006

On June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne completed the first privately-funded manned spaceflight, something that I think heralds important changes in human spaceflight. It was the privatization of airflight that led to some truly important innovations in air travel, especially as it eventually made it affordable and indeed commonplace for everyday civilians, something I really hope to see happen with spaceflight. And hey, NASA's been kinda stagnant for some twenty years in terms of human spaceflight

SpaceShipOne in particular has some very cool design features, like a "shuttlecock" reentry design, allowing it to reenter the atmosphere at nearly any orientation have the drag reorient it so that it goes headfirst. That's pretty cool! Or maybe that's just the physics major in me talking.

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All photographs are copyright 2008 to Robert N. Vary.
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