Thousands of obervers at the Mojave Spaceport and millions watching via webcast and TV were able to follow today's dramatic flight to space of the SpaceShipOne suborbital vehicle via Ecliptic's RocketCam™ onboard video system as pilot Mike Melvill successfully completed the first of two required flights in the X Prize competition.
At the VIP viewing area at the Mojave Spaceport, a live RocketCam feed from SpaceShipOne's right rear tail boom was displayed on a large sports arena-style video billboard for about 2/3 of the entire 80-minute flight, delighting viewers with onboard views of White Knight/SpaceShipOne taxi and takoff, climbout to about 47,000 feet altitude, SpaceShipOne drop and motor firing, and its very exciting and dramatic ascent to over 337,000 feet, atmospheric re-entry, descent and landing.
As observers on the ground strained their eyes and necks to see if Melvill could control the heart-stopping series of SpaceShipOne rolls and oscillations as he and the craft passed through the required X Prize minimum altitude of 328,000 feet, all of the action was easily followed on the video billboard from the up-close RocketCam view. Selected webcast and news outlets carried similar views.
See a sampling of the numerous on-line news reports at Ecliptic and its Projects in the Media page.
And be sure to catch a recap of this stunning flight this coming Sunday on the Discovery Channel.
The second of the two required X Prize flights in still scheduled for October 4, but check for status at the Ecliptic website as the date nears.