One Small Step Closer

X-Prize update:

“I love the smell of Rocket Fuel in the morning,” read the phrase on the T-shirt.

And then, from high above a lake that’s seen everything from shipwrecks and sewage to dragonboat racing and nude sunbathing, came something completely different: part of a spacecraft, drifting steadily toward the lake below a parachute.

“Awesome,” shouted one observer from the bow of a sailboat.

The still waters just south of Centre Island were transformed yesterday morning into Cape Canaveral North, as a Canadian entry in the $10 million (U.S.) Ansari X Prize competition carried out a splashdown test of its crew cabin. It looked like something from the early days of NASA, except the cabin was unmanned. (Oh yes. And the U.S. navy wasn’t there.)

Nonetheless, the test takes Canadian Arrow one small step closer to making its first manned suborbital flight before the end of the year, and to eventually carrying passengers who’ll pay good coin to kiss the cheek of space.

I have got to start making more money.