On the morning of June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne climbed to over 62 miles and landed at the same landing strip it took off from. This amazing feat is in preparation for pursuing the ANSARI X-Prize and reperesentst the first time a privately funded aircraft made it into space! Cool, huh?
This is a $10,000,000 prize to jumpstart the space tourism industry through competition between the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world. The $10 Million cash prize will be awarded to the first team that:
This is a photo of the White Night turbojet flying over SpaceShipOne (SSO). Pretty funky looking if you ask me...
If you wanted to know how fast SSO traveled, you would first have to answer the question, "Compared to what?". You could get data from:
(These images are from the wonderful Multimedia Physics Studio web site.
Assume that the aircraft in each of these three examples produced the same amount of thrust. Therefore, the plane's speed would be constant from the air's frame of reference. However, with a tailwind, the ground speed would be greater, a headwind would result in a slower ground speed, and the cross wind would cause a greater ground speed and a changed direction.
To model a plane's motion accurately, we need to consider the relative velocities aircraft, wind and ground. That means we need to make use of vectors. Check the next lesson... :