Countdown continues on commercial spaceflight

October 6, 2014 6:01 AM

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Ten years ago this month, the first private, reusable, manned spacecraft to rocket to the edge of space won the $10 million Ansari X Prize, setting in motion a commercial race to space that has sputtered since and taken longer than most imagined.

SpaceShipOne’s prize caught the eye of Sir Richard Branson, who agreed to finance a fleet of commercial spacecraft built by its maker, Scaled Composites. Virgin Galactic – the catalyst and anchor tenant for New Mexico’s Spaceport America – was born.

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