Flight of Space Ship One Depicted in Google Earth

NOTE: the models in this story require Google Earth 4, so make sure you have it installed.
Space Ship One in Google EarthYou may remember Space Ship One – the strange-looking space craft launched out of the Mojave desert twice in two weeks to win the 10 million dollar Ansari X PRIZE in 2004. The spacecraft was designed by Burt Rutan (designer of many unique aircraft) and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. You can now view a complete overview of the flight of Space Ship One in Google Earth (large file: 3.5 Mbytes – you may not want to try this unless you have a good graphics card with lots of memory) thanks to the efforts of someone from the Google Earth Community called ‘jpwade’ who used SketchUp to create the 3D models. Once you open the file, you can click on the “Tour” folder and choose “Tools -> Play Tour” to get a flying tour of how Space Ship One flew to space and back. This GE file has some excellent 3D models of Space Ship One and its sister plane the White Knight One.
The models were created in honor of the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup which is an outdoor space exposition hosting several competitions for some major prizes (including over $2.5 Million from NASA) for space related technology. The event is being held on October 20-21, 2006 (see here for details) at the Las Cruces Airport in New Mexico. It will be a great educational event with rocket launches, NASA exhibits, jets, and more. Check out this other interesting content for the X PRIZE Cup in Google Earth:

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.

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