U.S Team Completes Historic Second Space Flight Monday Morning To Capture Champ Car-Sponsored X-Prize MOJAVE, California (October 4, 2004) -- Eight Champ Car World Series drivers have amassed $10 million in earnings over their long ...
U.S Team Completes Historic Second Space Flight Monday Morning To Capture Champ Car-Sponsored X-Prize
MOJAVE, California (October 4, 2004) -- Eight Champ Car World Series drivers have amassed $10 million in earnings over their long racing careers but the U.S.-based American Mojave Aerospace Ventures, LLC team led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen picked up $10 million in a little under two hours Monday morning.
The team successfully sent its SpaceShipOne craft 368,000 feet into space Monday morning with pilot Brian Binnie at the controls, reaching the boundaries of space for the second time in a week to win the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE Presented by Champ Car competition. As part of the sponsorship, the Champ Car logo flew not only on SpaceShipOne, but on each of the spacecraft of all teams participating in the competition. In addition, a Champ Car flag made the journey into space as part of the 400 pounds of ballast required by competition rules. Rules state the flight must carry three people, or the weight of two additional passengers along with the pilot. The bright orange Champ Car flag was given to the X PRIZE management last week for today's history-making flight.
"When we first partnered with the X PRIZE organization, we knew that one of the talented teams would make history," said Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. "I firmly believe that in the years to come, we will all look back at the events of today as a watershed mark in the history of space travel. It takes the same tenacity, commitment, competitive spirit and passion to make history in space or at the track, and the Champ Car World Series is extremely proud to be a part of it."
The flight exceeded the competition's requirements by 40,000 feet and broke a 41-year-old record for altitude by an airplane, set by an experimental X-15 military aircraft. The $10 million prize will be awarded in St. Louis on November 6. The historic flight was deliberately scheduled for Monday by the U.S. team, as it marked the 47th anniversary of the launch of the Russian Sputnik 1, the first satellite to be put into space.