Heinlein Would Be Proud

The FAA has just approved the first-ever license for a privately-owned manned rocket, to Burt Rutan at Scaled Composites. Rutan’s SpaceShipOne is the odds-on favorite to win the X-Prize, to be awarded to the first private group to build and fly a reusable manned spacecraft (suborbital in this case, but it’s a hell of a start).

I’ll be out near Mojave in a couple of weeks. Hope I get a chance to check this sucker out while I’m there…

UPDATE: Rutan didn’t waste any time after his craft was declared legal; SpaceShipOne flew today, reportedly to an altitude of 105,000 feet.