Historic Launch Set in Mojave, California

Ansari X Prize competitor Scaled Composites plans to launch on June 21, 2004 the first piloted private spaceship into space, something that only governments have accomplished since Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space on April 12, 1961. The public is invited to the launch, scheduled for early morning. While not an attempt for the Ansari X Prize, the launch will help usher in a new era of private enterprise in space. This comes at a time when the Moon-to-Mars Commission appointed by President Bush has recommended increasing federal support and NASA reliance on the private sector to reach his goals.

Richard Leis

Richard Leis

Richard Leis (he/him/his) lives in Tucson, Arizona where he writes poetry and fiction, attends and teaches writing workshops at the Writers Studio Tucson, and works for HiRISE, a team in the Lunar & Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona with a camera in orbit around Mars onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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