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impressive pic

historic space flight – with Five GoldenYak award photos

image credits: scaled composites llc


hover mouse pointer over craft for identification captions

White Knight launch aircraft carries SpaceShipOne, followed by Bob Scherer’s Starship chase aircraft, above the Mojave Desert.

spacer at

"When I got to the top, I released a bag of M&Ms in the cockpit," sid pilot Mike Melvill. "It was amazing -- the M&Ms were just flying around."


“Patti Grace Smith, the Federal Aviation Administration's associate administrator for commercial space transportation, awarded Melvill the first civilian astronaut wings ever granted by the FAA and the Department of Transportation.”

the end of nasa for manned space-flight?

“[Aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen] say their main aim is to end the government's monopoly on space exploration and put it within the reach of all those who can pay the price.

“Plans so far are to charge $US100,000 ($A147,177) a flight in the first years of business and then eventually lower the fare with the arrival of other spaceships planned for 2010.

“ "Since Yuri Gagarin and Al Shepard's epic flights in 1961, all space missions have been flown only under large, expensive government efforts," Rutan said.”

further comments on nasa’s ineffectiveness
This site has a running commentary and other interesting links.

“it should be noted that the whole development, construction, testing, staff etc. for spaceshipone has so far has not finished using the original 20 million dollars stumped up by paul allen. a single space shuttle flight costs between 400 and 600 million dollars. spaceshipone is, apart from fuel, fully reusable. the space shuttle needs considerable refit after each flight - between 10 and 20 percent from estimates i've seen.”





hide a man, hide a van

“you have a mix of light-sensitive and light-emitting devices attached to an adapted reflective surface. The devices are hooked to a computer, which simply projects on each side whatever is on the opposite side. The result is more of a translucent look, than real invisibility, but the potential is there.”

invisible man on a van the invisible cloak

Here, Dr Tachi describes various applications for the invisibility technology. Japan, being pacific, only envisage civil applications. However, the USA considered military applications with their version of invisibility:

“ "On a tank, there were places where you would see things, like the treads [...]. So we put skirts on the treads." ”

Tach Laboratory optical camouflage project page
[with links to short demonstration movies]

“This idea is very simple. If you project background image onto the masked object, you can observe the masked object just as if it were virtually transparent.”


intelligent software seeking threat patterns among human multitudes

“"These agents, which are actually intelligent software programs, scan the Internet, satellite images, hundreds of newspapers and electronic databases worldwide as they search for anything that even hints at a plot. In addition, the agents reproduce and spin off special-purpose agents that assist in the massive effort to scan more data than is humanly possible to analyze.”

“ We look at biological and natural models such as a school of piranha or a flock of birds as patterns for our agents. We also look at the breeding and natural selection as a blueprint for finding solutions to complex problems.

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SpaceShipOne chase aircraft White Knight launch aircraft SpaceShipOne