I am now back in Redondo Bearch and waiting until it is time to pick up the CD’s from the developer. In the meantime, I thought I’d pass on a few other items about today’s flight.
- Patti Grace Smith of the FAA was on hand to give Pilot Melville an award which recognizes him as the first civilian astronaut.
- There may have been some re-entry damage affecting roll controls. I have heard incomplete and contradictory information. SpaceShipOne did come into the landing a bit hotter than expected. I have heard numbers like +5 mph.
- The candies banging about inside of the cockpit were definitely M&M’s. The brand name has been withheld (other than a slip of the tongue by Melville that was edited out later) since there has so far not been any brand placement payments made. I will leave it to your imagination the bad jokes floating around the XCOR hanger…
- SpaceShipOne was about 26 miles outside of the box it was supposed to be in during the re-entry. Because of this the sonic booms on re-entry were barely audible from the airport. There is scuttlebutt about some control problems. This is to be expected in a test vehicle which is being used for a fast-track learning process in a particular flight regime which has never been explored before.
- The engine burn was a bit shorter than was expected. It was 1:15 min rather than 1:30 which was expected.
- I have heard the Governor was not there. The high DOT official was not the Secretary of the Department, it was Patti Grace Smith, the woman in charge of FAA launch and spaceport licensing and regulation.