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See this article on some of the serious "anomalies" that could have destroyed the craft (and its place in history). Perhaps a line to indicate all was not perfect? 17:26, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Found an image here, which is linked to from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. While the images there are usually public domain, the "courtesy of Scaled Composites LLC" watermark made me doubt if it's OK to add to the article. Would really have liked to, since it's a gorgeous shot imaging precisely what the mission was all about. :-) Jugalator 02:52, Jul 20, 2004 (UTC)

We've already got images with that copyright notice. Note that the image in question is tied to a press release--therefore we should be able to use it under fair use. -Joseph 04:35, 2004 Jul 20 (UTC)

SpaceShipOne PRESS photo gallery has a bunch of images that it would be nice to have, but no indication of usage conditions. Anyone feel like asking them? 18:15, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)

This really needs a picture of the craft in "feather" configuration.

Page move[edit]

I moved this, in order to be consistent with Scaled Composites White Knight. -N328KF 13:23, 2004 Jul 25 (UTC)

I don't agree that the page should be moved. There is only one thing called "SpaceShipOne," and there's not likely to be a name conflict. There are many things called "White Knight," hence the need for some differentiator - it might better be named "White Knight (vehicle)" or some such, but putting "Scaled Composites" in front of either of them gives the article the distinct flavor of a press release. -- ke4roh 10:23, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)
You should note that this standard also conforms to other types, which would be under, for example, "McDonnell-Douglas MD-11," or "BAe Sea Harrier." . The only exceptions seem to be U.S. military types, which would use the designation system (eg. "C-17 Globemaster III," but even that has a redirect from "McDonnell-Douglas C-17." -N328KF
From looking at all the Boeing, Fokker, and Rockwell products, the practice is to use the company name before the commercial things and not usually before the military/space things. Since SpaceShipOne is taking space commercial, it seems reasonable on that basis to call it Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne. I'm not sure I wholly agree with the practice in general, though, but as long as that's the norm, I won't worry about it here. -- ke4roh 11:18, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

Interesting Rutan quote: "“The spaceship is model number 316 and the White Knight is model number 318,” Rutan said at the preflight press conference in June. “I will be making a presentation very quick of a model number 346.”" --NeuronExMachina 07:38, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, I added this to Tier One. -Joseph

Jonathan's Space Report No. 529 has some figures for the inertial orbit parameters at apogee (-6374 x 100 km x 35.0 deg.) might be useful for producing a semi-accurate sketch. -Wikibob | Talk 23:18, 2004 Sep 27 (UTC)

Energy requirements[edit]

Where did we get "The energy requirements of true orbital space flight are in the order of 33 times as much as a SpaceShipOne ascent."? I suspect this neglects atmospheric drag. --Doradus 18:07, Oct 4, 2004 (UTC)

This is the energy which must be imparted to the orbiting mass: For a rocket the fuel and oxygen (and their tanks) must be accelerated as well and so the energy requirement is actually more than the factor of 33 identified.

Yes, you're talking about the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. I'm talking about the fact that air resistance decreases exponentially with altitude, so if you neglect air resistance, then you'll underestimate the fuel required by the low-altitude portion of the flight. --Doradus 23:46, Oct 5, 2004 (UTC)

If you can model the size and shape of the vehicle and take height release into account to estimate the air resistance, please add it in to the energy requirement in the document.

Yeah, well, I can't, so this is just idle speculation for the time being. --Doradus 01:06, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)

Can't we just use the wording "net energy requirements" to avoid the intricacies of air resistance and fuel transportation? After all, the paragraph is only meant to make clear that orbiting is much more difficult than just reaching the height. My proposal: "Although impressive, the achievements of SpaceShipOne are not comparable to those of orbiting spacecraft like the Space Shuttle. Accelerating a spacecraft to orbital speed requires about 32 times as much net energy as lifting it to a height of 100 km." --Daniel

I like it. I've put it in the article. --Doradus 00:35, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks! After double-checking the facts I suggest a small correction: Low Earth orbit speed is a bit less than 8 km/s, so the ratio between kinetic and potential energy (at 100 km) is closer to 31. I think "about 30 times as much..." would be sufficiently exact to express what you mean. --Daniel

You don't like "over 30"? -Doradus

Rubber and laughing gas[edit]

(Doradus) Recently, the phrase "which is powered by rubber and laughing gas" was deleted. However, the phrase is correct. Can the information be reworked into the article?

It's probably more appropriate on the Tier One page, where it is mentioned, although they use the equivalent term nitrous oxide (in two different places) for laughing gas. Jwolfe 09:38, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I removed a link to a commercial site. I'm not sure of the Wiki rule, but no encyclopedia I ever saw had ads in it. -tm

Maybe a link to the wikipedia page on Private spaceflight would help. Could someone do that? I don't know how to.