October 4, 2004


Posted in General at 8:57 pm by Ian


contrails-thumb.jpgThis morning, at 6:50 am, Brian Binnie took off in SpaceShipOne to win the $10 million X-Prize and break the altitude record for a manned aircraft. The morning air was crisp and the crowd was still with anticipation.

The planes climbed in tandem for forty minutes, and when the separation finally came at nearly fifty thousand feet (after three consecutive and breath-baiting two-minute warnings), the flare of the rocket was visible with the naked eye. The contrails separated and everyone craned their necks to see the ship climb to the heavens. The engines burned for 84 seconds, and when they shut off, SpaceShipOne was moving at over Mach 3.

And all I could do was stare. All anyone could do was stare.




  1. Nikhil said,

    I call shotgun!

    And dibs on the vomit bag, too.

  2. Evan said,

    were you… there?!

  3. Ian said,

    I was.

  4. Katie said,

    I know! And I’m so jealous! Emily went too. Not that you ever would have found each other, with all the people I’m sure were there, and can see were there from your picture. But wow, I’m so jealous. But thank you for the pictures, those are fabulous. *sigh* I want to go into space. I call the seat behind Nikhil!

  5. Ian said,

    Actually, I did see her just as I was leaving. But we were in a hurry so I didn’t go over.

  6. Mama said,

    I am so glad I made it. Thaks so much for such a hope-filled positive experience of history-in-the-making.

  7. AB said,

    “And all I could do was stare. All anyone could do was stare.”

    Great line. It makes it sounds like they’re laying waste to the earth, or transcending space-time as we know it, or evolving into a race of supermen who will rule over us with an iron fist.

    Maybe its just me. 🙂

  8. Ian said,

    It’s hard to explain. Yeah, it was just a little spit of fire in the sky, but, honestly, no one could look away. I had intended to take some pictures as it went, but all of a sudden it was out of view and the speaker said “sixty seconds.” I had watched it for an entire minute without moving.

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