Space Adventures Salutes Paul Allen, Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites for the Anticipated First Commercial Suborbital Flight

With the financial backing of Paul Allen, Burt Rutan, founder of Scaled Composites, plans to rocket his reusable launch vehicle, SpaceShipOne, into suborbital space on June 21, 2004. Upon separation from an aircraft at 50,000 feet, SpaceShipOne will use its single rocket to thrust itself to 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Mojave Desert in California and after three minutes in weightlessness, SpaceShipOne will then return to Earth. This historic event will be the first spaceflight flown by a private company.

“Space Adventures salutes Paul Allen, Burt Rutan and the team at Scaled Composites for expanding the boundaries of commercial space exploration. Suborbital flights are central to the industry,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. “With this advanced technology, suborbital tourism is closer to being available for all private citizens. In years to come, people will be able to travel around the world in less than the hour and this historic flight will be the prelude to our aviation future.”

For more information on Space Adventures’ proposed suborbital flight programming, please visit

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private tourists to the International Space Station, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia with an office in Moscow, Russia. It offers a variety of programs such as Zero Gravity, MiG flights, cosmonaut training, space flight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin; shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance and Byron Lichtenber; and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott.