X-Prize winner Scaled Composites, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Elbert L. (Burt) Rutan. The company specializes in innovative aircraft designs using light-weight composites. In 1986, Scaled's Voyager became the first aircraft to make a non-stop unrefueled flight around the world.
In 2003, SpaceShipOne became the first privately financed aircraft to break the sound barrier. On 21 June 2004, SpaceShipOne flew to 100km, thus becoming the first privately financed spacecraft.
The first X-Prize qualifying flight took place 29 September 2004. The second flight occurred 5 days later on 4 October 2004.
(White Knight and SpaceShipOne images used by permission of Scaled Composites.)
The Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne test pilots:
Douglas B. Shane
Michael W. Melvill
SpaceShipOne has since been retired and now hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
Scaled Composites then began development of SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic. Additional information can be found on our Virgin Galactic page.
After the first SpaceShipTwo was completed, production of further vehicles was turned over to The Spaceship Company, now wholly owned by Virgin Galactic.
Northrup Grumman bought Scaled Composites on 24 August 2007.
Page last modified: 01 November 2021 16:35:10.