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Latest Scaled Composites WhiteKnightTwo Stories

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2006-07-30 17:50:00

LOS ANGELES -- They are celestial missionaries of sorts: professionals with a wild side, celebrities with money to burn and semi-retirees with a hankering for one last thrill. What they share is a desire to float weightless for a mere five minutes. They've also got $200,000 to book a flight into space. Even without a guarantee that they would ever blast off, these leisurenauts are voluntarily promoting commercial space travel - still several years away, at least - with an almost religious...

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2006-02-10 06:25:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Adventurer Steve Fossett flew past the halfway point in his effort to break aviation's distance record, even as a fuel leak, soaring heat in the cockpit and weak winds jeopardized his quest. Fossett reached Japan - the midway mark of his expected 3 1/2-day trip - late Thursday and was flying in the Western Pacific jet streams early Friday. He faced severe turbulence over India in his lightweight experimental plane and other problems. Fossett's team had calculated that...

2006-02-08 14:32:57

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Millionaire U.S. adventurer Steve Fossett took off in an experimental plane on Wednesday on an 80-hour flight that he hopes will set a nonstop distance record. The GlobalFlyer aircraft, which has a wingspan as wide as an 11-story building is tall, lifted off around 7:20 a.m. (1220 GMT) after rolling ponderously down a rented runway used by NASA's space shuttles at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Fossett, 61, had initially...

2006-02-08 09:34:10

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett took off in an experimental plane on Wednesday on an 80-hour flight that he hopes will set a nonstop distance record. The GlobalFlyer aircraft, which has a wingspan as wide as an 11-story building is tall, lifted off around 7:20 a.m. after rolling ponderously down a rented runway used by NASA's space shuttles at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Fossett, 61, had initially planned to start the...

2006-02-06 18:22:02

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett sets out on Tuesday for what he hopes to be the longest nonstop flight ever made by an aircraft. The 61-year-old Fossett, who already holds piloting, ballooning, sailing and other endurance records, was not entirely confident about his planned 80-hour trip into the record books. "It will be very close," Fossett told a preflight news conference. "I'm stretching the limits of the airplane." Fossett was to...

2006-01-13 00:55:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The aircraft barreling down the Kennedy Space Center runway on Thursday did not come from space, but it was as unique as any NASA space shuttle. With a wingspan as wide as an 11-story building, and a body weight so light it cannot land without drag chutes to slow it, millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett's experimental plane arrived at the space base in Florida to prepare for another record-breaking flight. "It would be a thrill to go to space, but I'm...

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2005-12-13 12:03:36

LONDON -- Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement Tuesday for the state to build a $225 million spaceport. Virgin Galactic also revealed that up to 38,000 people from 126 countries have paid a deposit for a seat on one of its manned commercial flights, including a core group of 100 "founders" who have paid the initial $200,000 cost of a flight upfront. Virgin Galactic is planning to begin...

2005-10-06 01:25:00

WASHINGTON -- The first privately built craft to fly into space became a museum piece on Wednesday, as its creators aim for an eight-seat vehicle to carry passengers to "that beautiful black sky." A year and a day after SpaceShipOne clinched the $10 million Ansari X Prize by flying to an altitude of 62 miles twice within a 14-day period, the pioneer vessel was unveiled at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. It hangs between Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, which made the first...

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2005-03-03 14:00:00

SALINA, Kan. (AP) -- First by balloon, now by plane, Steve Fossett is once again a 'round-the-world record holder. The millionaire adventurer on Thursday became the first person to fly around the world alone without stopping or refueling, touching down in central Kansas after a 67-hour, 23,000-mile journey that appeared endangered at times by a troubled fuel system. Fossett, who failed five times before successfully circumnavigating the globe solo in a balloon, needed just one try to make...

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2005-03-01 07:30:00

SALINA, United States (AFP) -- The early stages of American adventurer Steve Fossett's bid to make the first solo non-stop flight around the world without refueling aboard the GlobalFlyer have gone "exactly as planned", organizers said. "Mission control has spoken with Steve and he reports that everything is working well and that he is extremely pleased with progress so far," project manager Paul Moore told a press briefing late Monday. After weeks of weather delays, the GlobalFlyer took...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'