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SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo

SpaceShipOne was a privately funded spacecraft, designed by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, that achieved suborbital spaceflight. It was the first manned spacecraft not funded by the government. It won the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE, which required building a spacecraft that could be reused within two weeks, among other requirements. After one of its flights, the pilot Mike Melvill stood atop the craft and held a sign handed to him by a spectator which read "SpaceShipOne, Government Zero".

Funding came from Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, who supplied $25 million. Richard Branson licensed the technology for Virgin Galactic and funded its successor SpaceShipTwo five years later.



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