FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE RIGHT STUFF LIVES AGAIN
NSS lauds the first Mach 2 flight by a private piloted rocket vehicle and granting of the first private spaceship license by the FAA
WASHINGTON, DC – National Space Society Executive Director George Whitesides issued the following statement on two milestones in space history: the announcement on April 7 by the Federal Aviation Administration that it had issued the first license for a "sub-orbital manned rocket flight" to Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites of Mojave, CA, and the news that the very next day, on April 8, Rutan’s newly licensed vehicle SpaceShipOne had reached Mach 2 and over 100,000 feet in its second successful powered flight.
"Three individuals have just made history: pilot Peter Siebold, designer Burt Rutan and Patti Smith, the FAA's Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation. With this license, the FAA has taken a careful step towards enabling US leadership in the new industry of suborbital spaceflight."
"The license is truly a crucial event, which for the first time makes it legal for a private rocket-powered vehicle to attempt to reach space with a pilot on board. The effort over the last several years to pass legislation permitting the FAA to issue such licenses has paid off, and opened the door to the start of real X PRIZE competition. This will lead to a further expansion of private interest in developing safe and reliable spacecraft which are also inexpensive to operate."
"Scaled Composite's successful flight the next day confirms that the FAA has licensed a leader in this new industry. NSS looks forward to the licensing of more leaders soon."
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The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent,
international, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of
a spacefaring civilization. NSS has more than 22,000 members and 50
chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany,
Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely
acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on