The first privately-developed spacecraft to carry a pilot to suborbital space.
Built by aerospace visionary Burt Rutan’s company Scaled Composites, and financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, SpaceShipOne made three successful flights in 2004. On its first flight it flew 62.5 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, making it the first nongovernmental vehicle to cross the “Karman Line”, the accepted point of entry to space according to the International Astronautical Federation. As a result of its record-breaking flights, the spacecraft won the $10 million Ansari X Prize.
On loan from the Saint Louis Science Center.
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo Da Vinci