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Private Rocket Reaches Space
Jeremy Faludi, 18 May 04

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The Black Rock Desert hosts more than one world-changing movement. As the BBC reports (curiously, no US media has yet mentioned it), the first "amateur unmanned rocket has been launched into space". Developed by Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT), it carried a small payload up, which parachuted back to earth separately from the rocket body.

Oddly enough, the major sponsor for this round of experimental build-and-launch was a sports drink & gear company, not some grand technology leader or military contractor. This is somehow very encouraging to me.

CSXT's website describes their team as "an all-civilian team comprised of about 30 amateur rocketeers from all walks of life -- from a retired Hollywood stunt man, to teachers, scientists, inventors, television engineers, ham radio enthusiasts, students, and -- yes -- even honest-to-goodness rocket scientists."

Though not directly related to the X-Prize competition to get humans in space through private means, unmanned cargo-carriers like CSXT's will be an important part of the future of space, surely making up the bulk of traffic.

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Comments

With enough Estes D12-5 motors, anything is possible!


Posted by: Stefan Jones on 18 May 04



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