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Photos Of Rutan's X-Prize Entry

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  • Very secret (Score:5, Funny)

    by billstr78 (535271) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:30PM (#9608460) Homepage
    the photos are so secret that only the first 4 people to click on the photos were able to see them before the server crumbled.
  • Hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by bmiller949 (681252) * on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:30PM (#9608461)
    I saw all the images and read the FAQ on the site. There was no mention of what the in flight movie was :).

  • this is news? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pidhead (154105)
    Uh, did you miss the launch last week? What's new here?
    • With as fast as it was slashdotted, I guess it was new to someone!
    • by Tatarize (682683)
      You need to make two flights within a given time period and a few other things. It'll be a little while before Spaceship One can win. So the others are scambling to win.

      Spaceship One: First successful flight into outerspace by a commercial company.

      This thing: Pictures.
    • Yes, for those of you who have been living without internet, television, radio or print media of any kind for the last year...

      "You may have been wondering?!?!" No, no I have not, because it has been plastered across every major news outlet for at least six months.

      But, erm, thanks for the "heads up." Geezuz.
  • Power (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zorilla (791636) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:37PM (#9608502)
    Amount of power to reach escape velocity > Amount of power needed to run Fisher Price(tm) My First Web Server
  • by thephotoman (791574) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:48PM (#9608571) Journal
    I've said it before, but it's about time that the private sector got into space exploration. The government has gone about as far as it reasonably can in developing the actual process by which we go into space. Now, it should let private industry take the lead, as funding is generally more available in the private sector, and companies can often make decisions quicker than governments can.

    This is also probably the best way of getting the public interested in space travel again, by involving them as participants, not just spectators.

    NASA shouldn't be abandoned, as there's still room for government involvement, especially in strictly scientific missions like launching satelites. In fact, I'd propose that NASA retain its size, form, and function, but that it be a small percentage of space travel, not the majority of it originating in this country.
    • NASA (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bob_Robertson (454888)
      I disagree with your premise entirely. NASA has been a disaster for space travel, ensuring that resources get plowed into the most inefficient, expensive, hide-bound techniques and designs. The only effort more backward is the Russian one, and at least the Russians stuck with one basic design and perfected it to the point where they have the highest lifting capacity in the world.

      Getting into space might have taken longer without the whole NASA "before the end of this decade" mission statement, but once don
      • I think you're probably right, I just wonder what it is that has stopped private enterprise doing this?

        Are big corporations too risk averse nowadays?

        • Re:NASA (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bob_Robertson (454888)
          This is where not paying for government in the first place really shines. Without Big Mommy taking 50% of what you make, and 50% of what other people make by selling you stuff, and so on, without even mentioning the cost of complying with regulations with every step you take, what would you do with all that extra money?

          Would you invest it in some crackpot rocketship? There are a whole bunch of people who would.

          And yes, NASA has directly restricted the development of private space vehicles, by using tax mo

      • NASA has been a disaster for space travel


        Yah, this is exactly what I think when there's 2 probes on Mars, one orbiting Saturn, and one to land on Titan in December. Who's been more successful in space than Nasa? No one.

        I don't have any problems with private space launch, as long as it's well regulated. I do have a problem with badmouthing of Nasa. They've been enormously successfull on a comparitively small amount of money. Just for comparisons sake, how many billions of dollars did it take to cre
        • NASA has been a disaster for space travel

          Yah, this is exactly what I think when there's 2 probes on Mars, one orbiting Saturn, and one to land on Titan in December. Who's been more successful in space than Nasa? No one.

          After four decades of space travel, you can count the currently operative interplanetary spacecraft with one hand, and the number of manned interplanetary spacecraft with Captain Hook's lost hand. That is pretty pathetic, if you really think about it.

          I don't have any problems with pr


          • After four decades of space travel, you can count the currently operative interplanetary spacecraft with one hand, and the number of manned interplanetary spacecraft with Captain Hook's lost hand. That is pretty pathetic, if you really think about it.


            Pathetic based on what? In what context are you judging space travel? Historically 40 years isn't a hell of a long time for a drastically new technology. Spacecraft aren't just a new form of a cart with different power sources (horse, steam engine, inter
    • by Paddyish (612430) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:52PM (#9608966)
      I think what you're trying to articulate is this:

      NASA's role is that of the explorer - opening up new frontiers, blazing the first trail to the new world. A 'proof-of-concept' style approach.

      Once the trail has been established and marked, the private sector should move in and commericialize as much as possible. I think that this delegation of responsibility is the best possible balance in getting mankind permanently off of earth and beyond our solar system.

      FedEx may be better than the USPS, but who came first? Government involvement opens doors. The private sector enlarges those doors and makes it easier to reach the next set of challenges.

    • NASA shouldn't be abandoned, as there's still room for government involvement, especially in strictly scientific missions like launching satelites.

      I think what you mean is space probes, not satellites. Launching satellites is not really a science project, and NASA hasn't been involved in it since 1986.

      If NASA exists only to do science, though, how would it be any different from the NSF? Is there really a need for two government agencies that do the same thing?

    • Government funded project suffer greatly from policy changes - the government decides they want to do something and the project is starter. Then part way through the project, the government gets kicked out of office for whatever reason (lose an election, etc) and the new government doesn't like the project so shut it down... wasting both time and money.
      Industry doesn't suffer from this problem (as much) since there are real financial goals involved - they can't afford to pour a few million $ into a project
  • Last year called... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hobbex (41473) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:51PM (#9608591)
    Did I just fall through a time-warp, or is something very wrong with this story?

    Who, exactly is wondering what Burt Rutan is up to? I mean, I realize that not everybody cares about spaceflight, but I promise that anybody who knows who Burt Rutan IS could hardly have missed the 2010 [google.com] recent news stories about what he is up to. I guess unless they are a slashdot editor...

    Oh, but wait, there are pictures of his X-Prize entry [google.com]. That is amazing!
    • by RedWizzard (192002) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @07:28PM (#9609185)
      Who, exactly is wondering what Burt Rutan is up to? I mean, I realize that not everybody cares about spaceflight, but I promise that anybody who knows who Burt Rutan IS could hardly have missed the 2010 recent news stories about what he is up to. I guess unless they are a slashdot editor...
      What's worse is that the pictures are all just ripped off the Scaled Composites site's photo gallery [scaled.com]. What is the point of this article exactly? Just to reward some guy for a bit of copyright infringement?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You must be new here. Welcome to slashdot. We don't give a crap about journalism, fact-checking, quality-control or anything else that that would require the so-called editors to lift a finger.

        I wonder what they do all day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:56PM (#9608615)
    After posting the article on slashdot, the server admin heard a loud bang. This was probably the network card buckling under the stress. After further investigation, large amounts of M&Ms were found in the servers drive bays.
  • cool info (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nspace13 (654963) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:58PM (#9608620) Homepage
    wikipedia has a great entry [wikipedia.org] on this.
  • Google Images [google.com], I suppose.

    May not be exactly what the submitter intended for us to see, but it's better than nothing, plus it helps collect lots of different images all in one neat, tidy place!

  • Quick victory (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I hope that Rutan wins the X Prize quickly and convincingly. He's the only one (correct me if I'm wrong) who is doing test flights. I trust him to get people into space without killing anybody. The other teams; I'm not so sure.
    • Armadillo is doing test flights. In fact, at the moment their vehicles aren't even designed for lifting people. They are, however, inventing a lot of new-ish and very cool technology.

      As you'd expect given the nature of the guy running it, Armadillo has an impressive physics simulator designed to test their new designs before they are even built (and which is apparently pretty accurate). They also have made a cone-shaped rocket land straight down on its tail without large stabilizer fins. What they lack

  • by DanielMarkham (765899) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:19PM (#9608738) Homepage
    We desperately need the private sector, and things like the X-Prize.

    Anyone read "The Innovator's Dilemma"? The premise of the book is that radical changes (what the author calls "disruptive technologies") can never be supported by organizations attuned to the old technologies.

    Getting into space cheaply is going to require disruptive technology -- big paradigm changes. Just the nature of large organizations will keep NASA from being able to recognize or implement it. Just look at their current ideas for "X-Prize"-like contests -- they want to spread too little money over too many technologies. Who wants to compete to make the best astronaut glove? It just goes to show the agency is not capable of the radical changes we need for our space program.
    • I couldn't agree more. Now, if only I could get the moderators to stop modding my comment to the same effect above (#9608664) as a "Troll"...

      NASA uses FedEx. The reason: FedEx is private and therefore more efficient than the USPS.

      That's why The US Government would be better off purchasing private launch space just like everybody else.

      There's no reason to think that half a dozen universities wouldn't get together and build deep space probes, either.

      Bob-
    • Who wants to compete to make the best astronaut glove?

      Numerous companies, if they can expect a money-making contract from it. Also any X-Prize competitor who wants to be able to control his craft if it should lose air pressure for some reason.

      Having good spaceships is important, but having good spacesuits is just as important. Personally, I find the space activity suit [wikipedia.org] to be the most interesting alternative.

  • Priceless! (Score:5, Funny)

    by CygnusXII (324675) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:20PM (#9608743)
    1. $50,000.00 for composite materials
    2. $1,000,000.00 for Electronics
    3. $1,000,000.00 + change for Engineering
    Surviving SlashDot onslaught PRICELESS!!!
  • Bandwidth is fine (Score:5, Informative)

    by germinatoras (465782) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:33PM (#9608825) Homepage

    The photos download just fine once their "SlideShow" software finishes rendering the HTML page that has the pointer to it. I'd recommend skipping the slide show, and getting only the thumbnails - that way you can pick and choose what photos you're willing to wait 30-60 seconds for.

    http://www.rokits.org/gallery/x-prize [rokits.org]

  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by DDumitru (692803) <`doug' `at' `easyco.com'> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:49PM (#9608935) Homepage
    Mirror [dumitru.com]

    Mirror of images, all one one page. 39 images. 3.2 Megabytes total.
    • nm? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Biogenesis (670772)
      They've done a horribly annoying job of mixing feet and km in this image [dumitru.com] but why have they used nm? Like did the flight reach 100km high, travel 53nm in space then come down again?

      Did they screw up there or am I deeply confused about some weird measurement scanle than just happens to look like nanometers but like, isnt?
  • Dude (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by kunudo (773239)
    I love his sideburns.
  • Unfortunately i didnt watch the launch(so correct me if im wrong) but one thing that I quite dont undestand is how he has managed to reach the space with so little fuel in such a 'fragile' structure (considering that the pictures showed a shuttle that didnt have those ceramics plates for reentering the atmosphere).

    Everytime NASA put the something in orbit, they burn that boatload of fuel, and this guy just got there in a what looks more like a giant Kite! And with what I believe being a much lower budge
    • by Anonymous Coward
      He didn't go to orbit. Not even close. He was about 15,000mph short of going to orbit.

      What he did was hit an altitude of 100km, barely, and fell back.
    • "Unfortunately i didnt watch the launch(so correct me if im wrong) but one thing that I quite dont undestand is how he has managed to reach the space with so little fuel in such a 'fragile' structure (considering that the pictures showed a shuttle that didnt have those ceramics plates for reentering the atmosphere).

      Everytime NASA put the something in orbit, they burn that boatload of fuel, and this guy just got there in a what looks more like a giant Kite! And with what I believe being a much lower budge
  • No Good Pilot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @07:58PM (#9609406) Homepage

    ...would dare take off without his trusty West Bend timer! (Picture at http://sd-mirror.dumitru.com/scaled/sso042a.sized. jpg [dumitru.com])

    West Bend timers...IN SPACE!

    (Yes, I know that's actually White Knight's cockpit. Smile and nod.)

    • No good pilot would dare take off without his trusty West Bend timer!

      It seems your flight school [flight-instruction.com] uses the little beast [flight-instruction.com]. Strange, no?
    • Well my little Piper Cherokee won't hardly go any higher than about 14K' MSL, but I have no West Bend timer on board. I use a little digital stopwatch that came free with a bottle of Listerine to time my turns! Also have on board the original 35+ year old wind-up aircraft clock (Swiss-made Wakman, works perfect too), a battery-powered digital clock, the digital stopwatch function built into a Terra TriNav display, and trusty wristwatch. Oops, almost forgot my cellphone has a clock/stopwatch too.

      I guess y
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @08:42PM (#9609657) Journal
    As many of you know, the pilot of SpaceShipOne released a bunch of M&M's near the top of his historic spaceflight. Scaled just recently released video of the launch [scaled.com], which includes chase plane and in-cockpit views. The floating M&M's are near the end. It's incredibly cool to watch -- one of the M&M's flies right by the camera! This video doesn't have sound, as I believe the "full" version is licensed for an upcoming Discovery Channel special.

    I wonder if Mars, Inc. [wikipedia.org] is going to try to license that video for a commercial.
    • by Goldenhawk (242867) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @11:47PM (#9610457) Homepage
      Really cool video.

      What's downright scary is two things.

      One, no military pilot in his right mind would deliberately FOD the cockpit - release Foreign Object Debris - even as small as an M&M - it's a surefire way to cause problems later. You'd be amazed at how little it takes to induce seriously Bad problems in an airplane cockpit. Even chocolate. Even three or four flights later, when that ONE M&M you didn't find post-flight just happens to melt or stick in an unfortunate spot.

      Two, watch the silhouette of the vehicle carefully during the external footage of the thrust phase. Boy, the thing is rocking back and forth badly. Serious controllability problems. Yeah, I know, we already heard all about that - but this video drives home just how nasty it was. I can distinctly see four roll oscillations greater than 90 degrees in just about five seconds. Ouch. Any pilot in a military jet would be reaching for the ejection handle right then. Interesting they didn't include the over-the-shoulder footage for THAT.

      Oh, and IAAAE (I AM an aerospace engineer) and DO happen to have experience working with both military pilots and jets.
      • Yeah, I too was wondering about that FOD issue ... wouldn't it suck if they have to take the cockpit apart looking for M&M's before they can re-launch again. I don't understand why he felt he could do that, actually ... maybe the cockpit on SS1 is pretty sparse?
      • One, no military pilot in his right mind would deliberately FOD the cockpit

        You're right, I can't imagine this ever happening on a NASA flight [spaceline.org] either.

        • It's always difficult to judge historic events by today's standards. Something like the Gemini flight helped shape the current view of fod in the cockpit.
  • idiots! (Score:3, Informative)

    by CanadaDave (544515) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @08:43PM (#9609662) Homepage
    Linking to a gallery slideshow is about the stupidest thing you can do.
  • Is it just me or does this picture [rokits.org] make it look like, with a new paint job, they've got a smiley face just waiting to happen? Somewhat related, how long before these things get commercial sponsors and start looking like race cars?

  • other pics (Score:3, Informative)

    by jayrtfm (148260) <jslash@sophon t . com> on Monday July 05, 2004 @12:34AM (#9610681) Homepage Journal
    here are some other gallerys:
    http://spaceshipone.airshowjournal.com/ 2004/
    http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/0062 93.html
  • Well, if you folks refuse to link it, I'm just gonna have to! :-)

    XTease model rocket, SpaceShipOne! [joyoftech.com]

    Gorgeous job Nitrozac, imho. :-)
  • This [rokits.org] is an interesting picture.

    I wonder what information he has displayed on that control panel, and what computer system they have displaying it? I mean, is there a specialist Aeronautics Display OS out there or does it run on QNX or RTLinux?
  • Did anyone else notice the minimalist chairs and table and the vending machines in the first photo? Nope, no cushy chairs or catered meals for these guys... they're focused on the Prize.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

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