June 2, 2004

World's First Private Spacecraft Launches June 21

:: The first non-governmental flight to leave the Earth's atmosphere is scheduled to be launched on June 21, 2004, from the Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center:

A privately-developed rocket plane will launch into history on June 21 on a mission to become the world's first commercial manned space vehicle.

The pilot of the craft, still to be announced, will become the first person to earn astronaut wings in a non-government sponsored vehicle, and the first private civilian to fly a spaceship out of the atmosphere.

That's the word today from Scaled Composites in the Mojave, California desert -- designer and builder of SpaceShipOne. The announcement is the first time the group has pre-announced a high-altitude run of its piloted rocketship.

Investor and philanthropist Paul Allen and aviation technologist Burt Rutan have teamed to create the program, which will attempt the first non-governmental flight to leave the Earth's atmosphere.

Further details are available from Scaled Composites, builders of SpaceShipOne.