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10/06/2005 10:38 AM ID: 50549 Permalink   

SpaceShipOne Designer Donates Ship to Smithsonian


Ansari X Prize winner SpaceShipOne has been donated to the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum, and has been placed on display next to Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis -- the icon of trans-Atlantic flight.

SpaceShipOne was designed by Burt Rutan and financed by Paul Allen, co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation. Both were in attendance when the Smithsonian took ownership of the ship--the first privately-owned spacecraft to successfully fly into space.

Rutan told the gathered crowd that "I knew that the significance would be known and understood by everyone in 10 years. I'm extremely pleased to see it here this early." Rutan also dismisses NASA's moon plans as nothing new.

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