CNN and other news outlets are now (around 7:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time) showing live the flight of Scaled Composites’ White Knight and SpaceShipOne in its attempt at sending the first piloted private spacecraft into space. White Knight, the carrier jet, is currently heading up to 50,000 feet where it will release the SpaceShipOne space craft. Then SpaceShipOne will fire its rocket to take it up to 62 miles, the start of space above the Earth’s atmosphere. The pilot, Michael Melvill, is expected to spend about three minutes in weightlessness before gliding back down to earth.
Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr). View all posts by Richard Leis